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THE UNIVERSITY OF
THE WILMER COLLECTION
OF CIVIL WAR NOVELS
RICHARD H. WILMER, JR.
WAR TO PEACE
BY BENJAMIN F. MASON,
Author of tlie "Village Mystery," or " The Spectres of St. Arlyle.
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the
the year iSgr, by
I^. F. MASON,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
THE BATTLE OP BULL KUN, OR MANASSAS.
THE KETREAT FKOM THE FIELD OF MANASSAS.
THE soldier's LAST WATCH.
THE OLD ENEMY AGAIN.
A NEMESIS ON HIS TRACK.
JUSr IN THE NICK OF TIME.
THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE.
AT REST AT LAST.
THF. BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
THE CLOSE OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
THE STRUGGLE "WITH DEATH.
AT REST IN HEAVEN,
NEABING THE END.
THE DAWN OP PEACE.
THE liAST REVIEW OP THE ARMY OP THE POTOMAC.
SAD AND SWEET MEMORIES.
THE VANDAIi CONGRESS ONCE AGAIN.
THE VANDAIi CONGRESS CONTINUED.
HOME AGAIN IN ST. ARLYLE.
* CHAPTER XX.
UNDER THE LIGHT OF PEACE.
Through War To Peace:
A SEQUEL TO
The Village Mystery.
BY BENJAMIN F. MASON.
THE BATTLE OP BULIi KUN, OE MANASSAS.
m BHEN shook the hills with thunder riven,
1 * Then rushed the steeds to battle driven,
J And louder than the bolts of heaven
' Far flashed the red artillery.
T was a calm, beautiful Sunday morning, on the 2]st of June,
f' 1861 ; the sun arose in all its splendor and threw its bright rays
down on the glens, woods, and clear bubbling streams of the
Plain of Manassas ; while far away in the distance, robed in
,, _ their azure hue, stood the tall summits and pinnacles of the
Blue Ridge, guarding, like sentinels, around a field of death !
But ere long, ever and anon, the calm was broken by the roar
of artillery, and white wreaths of emoke were seen ascending from the
cannon's mouth, into the clear, blue sky above the two long, glittering lines
of the contending ai-mies, telling of the fearful struggle soon to begin !
It was the battle field of Bull Bun, the first great, bloody conflict of the
Civil War, Side by side, the men stood in the long, gleaming lines of battle,
waiting for the orders to rush forward into the vortex of death ! And
standing there in that short interval — with thoughts flashing over their
2 THBOUGH WAR TO PEACE.
minds as thick as waves on an ocean beach — ere they met amid the awful
clash of arms, many a soldier's thouglits were wandering far away to Noith-
ern and Southern cities and villages, where friends and loved ones were
answering the Sabbath bells' sweet peal of love and peace; and many a
soldier in his imagination could see dearly loved ones walking up the old
familiar church steps, that he knew so well, but that perhaps he would
never see again ; for before that Sabbath sunlight faded into night many a
one would be called to "join that silent number in the land whence none
return ! "
The St. Arlyle regiment arrived on the field the evening before the Vjattle,
and had been assigned to General Hunter's division, one of the first bodies
to become engaged on the following morning. There had been during the
day several severe but short engagements between the advance skirmishers
of the two armies, but they had now fallen back on the main bodies, and all
was again quiet. But it was but the lull before the great struggle on the
It was a beautiful night; the moon was full, and shed a soft, mollow
light down from a cloudless sky, while not a breath of wind ruffled the
gleaming surface of the rippling streams, or rustled the leaves of the
surrounding forest, arrayed in all the brightness of a mid-summer's night,
wiiile in every directioq thousands of camp-fires glared forth, throwing
weird fautastic shadows against the thick foliage of the trees.
Around one of the numerous camp-fires a party of Vandals were collected,
discussing the impending battle.
" Well," said Ned Stanton, "we'll have a lively time to-morrow. Some of
us will have to do a good deal of dodging to save our skulis."
"Yah," said Blowhard Jake, "bud by Shimmany! von't ve mak dem
llL'bil runs !"
"Lo'^k out they don't make you run," said another Vandal.
" Not much dey von't ! " •
"I don't know about that," said Gleaton, "some of you fellows will want
to go home mighty bad when the Eebel bullets are whistling around your
ears. And then fight the rest of the war wk,h your jaws, in the tailor shop."
"Well," said the Pirate, with his usual nonchalance, "we'll take a few
shots at 'em f hirst, ahnyhow, just to kape things loively, afore we lave."
Thus the conversation ran on, for most of them slept but little that night,
and eagerly they responded to the rolling of the drums ere daylight broke
on Sunday morning. Then followed a rapid march, until they could see the
enemy's forces in the distance, when a short halt was ordered. Here we
have already described them, waiting for the final order to move on to the
Between the two armies floM'ed the Bull Kun stream, and at a considerable
distance from it, on the summit of the ridges, gently sloping to the plain,
were posted the Confederate forces, nearly three miles in length. Almost
opposite the enemy's center was a stone bridge, spanning the stream, which
was guarded by a Confederate regiment.
It was planned by the Federal commander. General McDowell, that a
feint attack should be made on the bridge by one of the divisions, while the
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
two others, of Heintzieman and Hunter (the latter containing the St. Arljle
ref,'in]ent), were to make a detour through the tlilcli woods, and fall upon the
eiii'iny's flank and rear.
The battle began a few minutes after six o'clock, by the discharge of a shell
from a mortar in the direction of the regiment guarding the stone bridge.
Then followed a rapid cannonade from both sides, but the Union forces did
not advance to drive the regiment from the bridge, but remained firing at
long range, as their desire was to attract the enemy's attention, while the
two divisions pushed through the thick forest.
But the Confederates were on the alert, and before long they became
aware that a lar,u;e body of men were pressing through the dense forest
toward their left and in their rear. They immediately wheeled around and
formed a new and stronger line — as it was on elevated ground, and partly
sheltered by the houses, barns, sheds, haystacks and fences of a farm
situated there — and at the same time rapidly reinforcing the line to meet the
attack of the Federals.
Meanwhile, the divisions having forded the Bull Run stream, and filled
theii canteens with water, were pressing on as rapidly through the woods as
the tangled vines and thick undergiowth would permit. But their progress
was so retanled that it was ten o'clock before the advance brigade reached
the open field.
Among the first troops to reach the edge of the wood was Landon's regi-
ment, and as they came into the open ground they were received with a
perfect storm of cannon balls and bullets from the enemy's elevated position.
The severe fire for a few moments made the raw troops recoil, as the dead
and wounded fell around them, but they were pressed forward by those in
the rear, and were soon rushing up the rising ground, sharply replying to
the enemy's fire, while several batteries of artillery had emerged from the
wood and were firing over their heads with telling effect on the Confederates.
" Bejabers!" exclaimed Kelly, wildly, "it's extramely loively ! An' thar
aint mouch fun fightiu' Ribils !"
"No," replied his comrade, also a Vandal, "I'd rather be back in the
" Dunder und blitzon !" yelled Jake, "dey mights hit somebodies in der
"Put yer eyes in yer phocket!" answered the Pirate.
"Shiver me timbers!" cried Sailor Jack, as he glanced down the line, "ef
the boys aint fallin' overboard lively !"
They were now in the hottest part of the battle, and there was no longer
any time for words, as -they pressed rapidly up the hillside, firing volley
after volley at the Confederate ranks, while bullets and balls went plowing
through their own. Each moment fresh companies of troops emerged from
the wood and rushed up the gentle slope, till the Confederate commander,
Evans, was on the pomt of falling back, when he was reinforced by Gen.
Bee's division. The National forces were now sorely pressed, but they were
rapidly supported and their line greatly strengthened. The battle \iow
raged desperately, the air was filled with bullets, cannon balls and shells ;
the dead and wounded lay thick on the field, while the roar of the firearms
4 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
was almost deafening. Although the enemy, from his elevated position,
was doing terrible execution — especially with his artillei-y — ^on the National
line, the rapid reinforcement of the latter was slowly pressing his lines
back. Just at this time the Federals were again reinforced by Sherman's
brigade, and the Confederates could resist no longer and began a retreat.
Over the ridge and down the southern slope of a small valley the Confeder-
ates fled, but in good order, as they were aided in the retreat by Hampton's
famous legion, which had just arrived on the field. Across the valley they
rushed, and up a gentle slope leading to a large plateau above, closely fol-
lowed by tlieir pursuers.
Cheers broke from the Federal lines, as they considered the victory com-
plete, and the commanders were already congratulating each other, when
suddenly an incident of determination and valor occurred, that turned the
tide of victory.
As the flying troops, under General Bee, reached the brow of the plateau
there stood a brigade drawn up in line of battle, seemingly as immovable
as the rocks themselves, watting for the coming struggle. At its head sat
a commander whose name became famous on many a bloody field in after
years. It was Gen. T. J. Jackson.
General Bee rode up to the tall Virginian, who sat on his horse with a
face like marble, and exclaimed, with despair imprinted on every line of his
face : " General, they are beating us back ! "
"Then, sir," answered Jackson, calmly, "we'll give them the bayonet!'*
The words sent a thrill of hope through the disheartened Bee, and turning
to his men, he exclaimed : " There are Jackson and his Virginians standing
like a stone ivall ! "
And ever after he was known as Stonewall Jackson.
Although the Confederates had been driven up the hill to the plateau
above, Jackson's stubborn resistance here held the Federals in check, while
the former weie rapidly reinforced with infantry and artillery, and took up a
strong position on the brow, sheltered by the thicket of pines. Up these hill-
sides, against this strong Hue, the Federals hurled brigade after brigade, till
the slopes were black with men. It was now afternoon, and the heat was
intense. The battle raged fiercely, the roar of the conflict was terriflc, as
the cannons belched forth their thunder, mingled with the crash of the mus-
ketry, the heavy tramp of the cavalry, the screams and groans of the
wounded, and the shrill shriek of the bursting shell. The air was thick
with dust and smoke, completely hiding the combatants from each other, as
if struggling in a mist, while red flashes of flame darted high into the air
above the pandemonium of death and destruction. The Confederates were
inferior in numbers to the attacking forces, but they had by far the advantage,
in their elevated position, and the cover afforded by the pine trees. And
from the elevation the Confederates poured a raking artillery fire into the
advancing masses. But on the National soldiers came, every moment
pressing the enemy harder. At last the critical moment had arrived. The
loss had been severe on both sides. Though the Federals had not broken
the enemy's line, the latter's situation had now become desperate. Every
one of their available men had long since been hurried to the heart of the
THROUGH W^AR TO PEACE. 5
struggle, while on the National side fresh troops were already hurrying to
the front. The Confederate generals Bee and Baxter had been killed, Jack-
son and Hampton wounded.
"Oh, for a brigade !" cried the Confederate commander to a staff olBeer.
At this period, to add to General Beauregard's despair, telegraphic
signals warned him to look out for a body of troops advancing on his left.
"At this mijraent," said G-en. Beauregard in mentioning the occurrence
afterward, " I must confess my heart failed me."
It was a strong column of men, and at their head was a flag, but Beaure-
gard could not tell, even through a strong field glass, whether it was the
stars and bars or the stars and stripes.
A look of despair and sadness swept over the Confederate General's face,
as he turned to an officer and ordered him to hasten to General Johnston and
request him do what he could to support and protect a retreat.
Again Gen. Beauregard fixed one last lingering gaze through his field-glass
upon the advancing flag, but he could not distinguish it, as it hung limply
around the staff. But, just as he was lowering his spy-glass, a gentle breeze
sprang up, and slowly, steadily, the bar.ner unfolded and floated full out on
the warm air. It was the stars and bars ! Instantly the Confederate
General's face lighted up with triumph and pleasure, as he cried exultantly
to a staff officer :
"Col. Evans, ride forward and order Gen. Kirby Smith to hurry up his
command, and strike them on the flank and rear!"
The advancing troops, under Kirby Smith, were a part of Johnston's
army from the Shenandoah Valley, that had eluded the Federal General,
Patterson, who was to have held them in check. They were moving toward
Manassas Junction by railway, when Kirby Smith, hearing the heavy firing,
knew that a great battle was in progress. So he stopped the engine before
reaching the Junction, and, forming his men, pushed forward to the struggle.
The fresh command struck the National troops full on the right flank, ere
they could forn;i a new line. For a few moments the Union right fought
desperately, but their efforts were in vain. Flanked and under a terrible
cross fire, they were forced to fall back, slowly at first, then more rapidly.
As the Federals saw their right wing fall back in confusion, th*; cry rapidly
went along the line :
" Here's Johnston from the "Valley ! Here's Johnston from the Valley !''
And in a few minutes the entire army began to retreat, and then broke into
a wild rout. The battle was lost.
THE KETKEAT FROM THE BATTLE FIELD OF MANASSAS.
jtOR those t'Jat fly may fight agaiu,
CSi Which he can never do that's slain;
Hence timely running's no mean part
Of conduct In the martial art.
MOXG the few regiments that retained their order, and re-
mained firm to the last, was tlie St.
Arlyle one. But at last, far out-
numbered by the enemy, and each
moment being cut through by their
own fugitive infantry and artillery,
they were forced to scatter in every
direction. Gleaton's company
formed a part of the extreme left
of the regiment, and, unlikt." the
rest of the command, was unpro-
tected by the bushes and under-
growth ; therefore was the first to
be overrun by the flying artillery
and cavalry. Helter skelter his
men fled to escape the wheels of
the cannons and the hoofs of the
horses. Gleaton soon found him-
self, to use his own expression, "in command of him self only." He ran
on for quite a distance, till he came to a clump of bushes — ^where another
Vandal had already taken refuge — when he sprang behind them. But ere
long the enemy's bullets began to whistle thick around their heads, and it
got by far too hot to be comfortable, as Gleaton remarked to his companion,
" 'As custom arbitrates, whose shifting sway
Our lives and manners must alike obey.'
So I guess we'd better run away."
But Gleaton was a little too late in this movement, for before he could
reach the open ground he was captured by two Confederates, who, seizing
him by each arm, led' him rapidly through the thicket toward their lines.
But as they were emerging from the undergrowth with their prisoner they
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 7
were suddenly met by a flying piece of artillery, which knocked one of
the Confederates down, while the other and Gleaton had just time to spring
out of its way. Finding himself free, Gleaton sprang quickly forward, just
as the muzzle of the gun was passing, and, seizing hold of it, with a strong
effort swung himself up on the breech, where he clung desperately, as he
yelled at the discomfited Confederate :
" ' Fare thee well ! yet think awhile
On one whose bosom bleeds to doubt thee ! ' "
The soldier also proved to be a wit, for he replied in the words of Pope :
" I hold sage Homer's rule the best,
Welcome the coming, speed the going guest ! "
And, by way of emphasizing his words, he fired point blank at Gleaton,
but, luckily for the ex-blacksmith, the ball went wide of its mark.
Let us now turn to Marshall. When his men scattered and left him alone,
he started to run rapidly toward the rear, when he was halted by the
enemy, who had nearly surrounded him.
"Surrender!" shouted one of the Confederates, "you're our prisoner!"
"Ah! yes, indeed; I've been looking for someone to surrender to," he
exclaimed, as he threw up his arms.
But at the same time, seeing an opening in the underbrush, he popped
into it, as he remarked in his usual reckless manner :
" The mouse that always trusts to one poor hole
Can never be a mouse of any soul !"
But he did not escape without a volley of harmless bullets following him.
At least they were harmless so far as he was concerned, for none of them
struck him. He ran through the thicket, and near its edge finding a dis-
abled baggage wagon, he cut a mule loose from the traces, and mounting
him, started "to leave the field," as he afterward said, "as a cavalryman,"'
but, the mule not going fast enough, he struck him, when the animal
suddenly stopped, and, rearing up behind, the ex-editor shot over his head,
or, as Marshall afterward told it in rhyme :
"I seized and mounted a black artillery mule,
Made up my mind that he or I must rule ;
But as I raised the whip o'er his left ear,
The mule raised up his heels and shed a muleteer I "
The rest of the way the ex-editor pursued on foot. For, as he remarked,
he didn't wish to ride mules, as he "didn't understand their nature." Be-
sides, he didn't like the "feeling" way the animal had of "shedding a
muleteer!" "It sort of annihilated, kind of Vandalized a fellow."
Another Vandal, who was tardy in "beating" a retreat, was Sailor
Jack. And, being far behind the rest, he became confused, and ran in the
wrong direction — toward the enemy's lines. As he subsequently expressed
it, " he got befogged and went sailing around on a dead reckoning."
At last he became surrounded by the Confederates in nearly every direc-
tion, and the bullets whistling around his head as thick as hail on a winter's
8 THROUGH W^AE TO PEACE,
"Shiver me timbers! " he exclaimed, "ef there's much chance to go fore
or aft. So I guess I'll take a starboard tack," he continued, as he fled into
a neighboring wood.
Of all the Vandals, only one was severely wounded. That was Jim Kelly,
though several others received slight bruises, though not bad enough to
necessitate their entering the hospital. But poor Kelly had received a
dangerous gash in the side, and had just strength enough left to crawl be-
hind a tree, before he swooned away from the loss of blood. Here he was
found the next day, and carried to the hospital by a number of Vandals, who
had gone out in search of him.
" Be jabers, boys," said he, between his groans of pain, as they raised him
on the stretcher, "they kum mighty near sinkin' this pirate. They put an
awful big howl in 'er side."
Of the remaining Vandals, Frank Meredith and Dave Johnson were taken
prisoners, or, as Gleaton remarked, "the Rebels borrowed them for awhile."
But there was one Vandal the "Rebels'' did not "borrow"' or shoot. True,
he did not give them much of a chance to do either — that was Blowhard
Jake. Almost at the first fire his courage "oozed out," so to speak, and he
took French leave. As he was starting toward the rear one of the ofQcers
ordered him back, but this only accelerated his motion.
"Never mind him," remarked Marshall, "he's only going off to catch his
But it took Jake a long while to "catch his breath,"' for he did not stop
retreating until he got back to St. Arlyle, and he never returned, for he had
enough of war for the rest of his life.
" Dunder und blitzen ! " he used to exclaim, in speaking of the battle
afterward, "dem Rebils mights er hit er feller in der eye !"
He seemed to have a great respect for his eyes.
As Marshall ran onward, after being so unceremoniously dismounted from
the mule, he overtook Gleaton, who was also journeying along on foot, hav-
ing tumbled off his seat on the cannon.
" Hello, Captain Marshall !" exclaimed the latter, emphasizing the word
"Captain," "why don't you rally your men, and make a brave stand and turn
the tide of battle? "
"Ah," replied the ex-editor,
" My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much must talk in vain,"
" But why don't you, Captain Gleaton? "
"I have given a very good command, and I think they'll obey it. It's
found in Shakespeare, and it is: 'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens.'
But what do you think of things in general, Marshall?"
" They seem to be mixed ; in fact, sort of annihilated, kind of Vandalized."
At this moment they came upon a mounted officer, who was making a
buncombe speech to the flying men, urging them to rally and drive back
the enemy. But all the while the officer's horse's head was turned toward
the rear, and the warrior himself was every few seconds casting furtive
glances toward the enemy, so as to be ready to flee at a moment's notice of
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 9
"Fine words; I wonder where he stole 'em," exclaimed Gleaton, just as
the officer rode away at full speed toward the rear as he caught sight of
Stewart's Confederate cavalry in the far distance.
"That fellow," said Marshall, as he watched him disappear, "has mistaken
his calling. He was made for an orator, not a warrior."
The rout had now turned into a panic. All kinds of encumbrances had
been thrown away. The field was strewn with muskets, belts, knapsacks
and every conceivable kind of baggage and article, while the huge, surging
mass, without form or order, rushed on to Centerville, and from there to
Washington. In this huge, chaotic crowd, mingling with the soldiers, were
citizens, members of Congress, governors and various other State officials
and their wives, who were now ail fleeing for dear life, some in carriages,
others on foot, leaving behind them elegant lunches and forgotten speeches,
which they had intended tc make over a glorious victory.
As Gleaton and Marshall hurried onward they passed a group of soldiers
surrounding a large table cloth, on which was spread some flown Congress-
man's banquet, of savory dishes and bottles of wine. They would hardly
have noticed the cluster of men had they not heard their names called.
Looking toward the impromptu banqueters, they saw two Vandals seated
in their midst, helping themselves to the wine and other good things, per-
fectly regardless of the enemy's bullets.
"Come on, Marshall ! Come, Gleaton !" they shouted. " There's a mighty
good spread-out here ! The best you ever saw in your life !"
"Look out," answered Gleaton, "the Rebels don't borrow you."
"Oh, confound the Rebels ! this is a Vandal lay-out !"
But they were shortly afterward interrupted in their revelry by their Col-
onel, Charlie Landon, who compelled them to move onward. During the
battle Charlie had set his men a brave example, for he had rushed to every
part of his line, regardless of the enemy's fire, whenever he saw the men
heavily pressed, and encouraged them with words and deeds. And when
the retreat began he actively engaged himself in trying to save any of his
men from being captured, for he was among the last to leave the field.
" Move on, boys !" he cried. " Don't let the enemy capture you, for we'll
want you all another day. I know the battle is lost, and there is no alterna-
tive but to retreat. But we'll whip them the next time, and we want every
one of you to help. Fight your way through their ranks. Don't let them
take you prisoners !"
Charles Landon had generously given his horse to one of his wounded
men to ride, and had filled, with the aid of others, an ambulance with the
wounded of the regiment, when a mob of wild, excited men sprang forward
to jump into the wagon upon the wounded. Instantly Charlie sprang in
front of them and drew his sword.
"Back!" he cried. "Shame on you, to attempt to impose on wounded
But the excited crowd still pressed forward. Then the brave firmness of
his nature showed itself — the ring of the true metal in the man, as he
"The first man who attempts to spring into that ambulance. 111 run my
10 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
sword through him !"
The mass halted, for the calm determination of that pale, handsome face
awed them even if it did not win their admiration, and then they slowly fell
back, and the wagon proceeded unmolested.
Thus ended disastrously to the National cause the first important battle
of the War. On both sides there had been some skillful movements, and
never, perhaps, in the world's history had raw men done such good fighting.
Had the Confederates pushed forward they might easily have captured
Washington City. But tliey were evidently afraid of I'isking a defeat, for
they had not forgotten that they had been beaten back in the early part of
the battle, and they were not sure it might not occur again. They were not
aware of the fact that when an army is completely routed it falls an easy
prey to the victors ; besides, they had not yet been hardened to blood and
death. For there is no thorough school of the soldier, except by months
of experience on the field of strife — an experience they gained long before
the close of the War. But so also had their opponents.
After this battle came a quiet, but it was but the lull before the storm of
the most bloody and destructive war the American continent had ever yet
known. And during its progress the production of as fine soldiers and
martial equipments as the world had ever seen. In the meantime each
side began raising and organizing immense armies of men. President
Lincoln's first call, after the battle, was for a half a million of men. Gen.
McDowell was removed from the command of the army around Washington,
and superseded by Gen. McClellan.
Then followed the ^difficult task of organizing and drilling the demoralized
mass. General McClellan proved equal to the exigency, and in a few months
had succeeded in converting these raw men into a finely disciplined army,
well prepared for the bloody work in store for it.
THE SOLDIER S LAST WATCH.
<*/if\H ! once was felt the storm of war I
^-^ It had an earthquake's roar;
It flashed upon the mountain's height.
And smoked along the shore.
It thundered in the dreaming e ar,
And up the farmer sprang ;
It muttered in a bold, true heart,
And a warrior's hari;ess rang."
EARLY a year had flown on the wings of Time since the
Battle of Manassas. Bertha had been a nurse in the Army
of the Potomac nearly seven months. General McClellan
had made his famous-' Peninsula campaign — those seven days
of continual fighting — a series of the most desperate and
bloody battles that had ever yet been fought on the American
continent, beginning with the field at Oak Grove, then fol-
lowed each successive day, by the terrible contests of
Mechanics ville, Gain's Mill, Savage Station, White Oak
Swamp, Glendale and the final fierce ond bloody struggle at
Malvern Hill, and now the army had fallen back and was
lying on the James River.
This campaign, one of the most memorable in history, on
account of its severe and protracted fighting, had cost the
Federal array, in sick, wounded and killed, thousands upon
thousands of men. The multitude of hospitals hastily im-
provised in barns, churches, tents and every variety of
building, were filled to overflowing, and Bertha and the
many other noble women found plenty of work for their
willing hands to do.
' '^ These months of service among the wounded were fast
winning for Bertha in the Army of the Potomac a fame almost rivaling that
of Florence Nigtitingale in the Crimea. For the busy months of work had
made her an efficient nurse, by teaching her to bravely control her nerves
and remain calm while assisting to dress those frightful wounds which sol-
diers receive in warfare, and also how to make and administer the sedative
and cooling potions to the fever-parched lips. Once, only, in her trying
service did she faint. It was while engj>ged in bandaging a severe wound
12 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. _
in an officer's arm. The ligature of tlie artery brolie, and the hot blood
spurted in a flood over her white dress. Her head grew dizzy, while her
heart seemed to cease beating, and she would have faUen had not a surgeon
caught her and placed her on the bed. When she recovered, which she
rapidly did, she found that the surgeon had ligated the artery again, and
was bathing her face.
" These are terrible sights, my little ladj'," said the surgeon, kindly, when
she had opened her eyes again. " I am afraid they will prove too much
"Oh no !" she replied, " I shall try and be stronger the next time."
After that when serious accidents occurred (for they often did) she pressed
her thumb upon the artery, thus stopping the flow of blood, and quietly
awaited the arrival of the surgeon. Thus when she found she could be
truly useful to the wounded, she threw herself with her whole heart into
the noble work. And many were the blessings showered upon the hand-
some little lady's head by the suffering men, as she knelt by their beds and
administered to their wants, ever with words of kindness. For a soidier in
pain can fully appreciate the soft, magic touch of a woman's hand.
Eough and bad as some of these men had been, they never forgot her
noble kindness, and when many of them were again able to leave the hospi-
tal, they could not employ words enough in which to praise her to others.
And afterwards, when she passed groups of soldiers, containing, perhaps,
but a single one who had ever known her gentle care (but he had informed
the rest) every cap was raised, their boisterous laughter ceased, and a
silence fell upon them, as if they were in the presence of an angel.
It is no idle fancy that wins this respect from men. For a noble woman
is God's sublimest work on earth. The brightest and richest diadem beneath
the blue of heaven. Her example good men love to follow, and even evil
ones learn to admire. Noble, kind and true, she leaves a record through
the flood of years that time can never efface. She has planted and nourished
the blossoms that will bloom beyond the skies. For there is a power in a
good woman's magic touch naught else can win. It is the one foretaste
of heaven that few but a wounded soldier has ever learned to feel, as she
kneels by his side amid the conflict; and does a noble work of mercy.
Bertha, during all these months in the army, had had but several conver-
sations with Charlie Landon, for, although when they met it was in a very
friendly way, there was a constraint in their manners that touched a tender
chord in their hearts — and actually made the interview painful — as it became
impressed upon their minds that they were drifting farther and farther
But oh, how he longed at each meeting to place his arm about her and
tell her of the never-ceasing love beating in his heart, as he called himself a
thousand times a brute for his treatment of her affections ! " But alas !"
he thought, " I have crushed the last spark of fondness from her heart by
my contemptible actions 1 And I will not try to degrade or annoj' her by
offering a love that must be distasteful."
So that powerful control of his nature crushed down every impulse of
his heart, and he met her as calmly as if she were but a mere chance
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 13
And at these moments in her bosom what a wealth of tenderness lingered
for the man she loved, no words could express. But these many days of
experience with danger, death and care had taught her well the lesson of
self control. So when chance threw them together her little hand touched
his without a quiver, while the beautiful, pale face showed not a sign of the
strong emotions that were struggling in the little heart.
Of course Bertha found life in the army fraught with many hardships and
trials, but there was a consolation for all its inconveniences, in being sur-
rounded by so many friends of her youth. Though she met Charlie but
seldom, she saw him often, and that was a pleasure that always had a lin-
gering, inexpressible sweetness about it. Then, too, her true, noble friend.
Dr. GranviMe, was nearly always near, ever ready to assist and encourage
her. And then there were the other young men from St. Arlyle, not that
she had known them much iu former j^ears, but they were from her native
village, around which sweet memories still clung. And then, too, in the
past year, they had been so linked in her fortunes and misfortunes, that
almost unconsciously a strong friendship had grown up between the little
lady and them Tor it is said, and truly, indeed, that kindred works, or
trials, make kindred friendships too. And they, on their part, were always
ready to add to her comfort or pleasure by bringing her flowers, fruits or
other gifts, often fraught with great difficulty to obtain, in that war-swept
country. Thus, surrounded by so many well-wishers, gradually came a
home-like feeling in her heart. For there is nothing that constitutes home
so truly as to be near friends and those dear ones we love the best.
It was the evening of the 7th of July, but a week after the last battle at
Malvern Hill ; the Army of the Potomac was still encamped on the James
Kiver, and in the homes in every part of the Republic were still fresh the
memories of the dead, as mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts were
sadly treasuring up the last mementoes of the loved ones, sleeping forever
in unmarked soldiers' graves in old Virginia !
The night set in bright and clear, but ere long a fog began drifting in from
the bay, each hour growing denser, till it enveloped the two armies like a
mantlo, and hid from the Federal forces their long picket line, nearly two
At the extremity of the line, where it touched the river, James Kelly was
standing guard in the silent gloom — silent and gloomy indeed, except for
the occasional report and flash of a musket from his own line or tiiat of the
enemy, for the outposts of the contending armies were so near together that
they could hear the challenges of each others' officers as they went their
It was just 8 o'clock when Kelly took his place on duty, relieving the
former sentinel. The mist had already begun to rapidly envelope the field,
and as he stood at his post and watched wistfully, almost sadly, the last
gleam of the distant camp fires fade away in the gathering gloom — shutting
him in on his lonely vigil — there came a presentiment over the young soldier's
heart that the old life had faded too. For an indescribable something
seemed to tell him that it was his last watch on earth. But in spite of his
U THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
foars not a tliought of deserting his post of duly ever crossed the brave
young fellow's breast.
At 10 o'clock the relief came, but he gave no answer to the challenge, so
another sentinel was placed on his post. Again, at midnight, the guard was
changed, but there were no signs of the young soldier. He was hidden
from view in the mist. Once mure the night wore on. At last, when day-
light broke, and the warm beams of the sun had melted away the mist, they
found the brave young fellow lying at his post ! A deep, crimson stain on
the rough blue coat, just above his heart, told the sad story that he was "off
duty" forever ! His eyes were gently closed, as it in sleep, while on the
cold lips was even impressed a smile, telling that his death had been sudden
and painless. The pale face was wet with dew, as if, for f iillfiUing his duty,
Heaven had thrown down its cold kiss of approval there !
His comrades raised his body gently, and as they bore it away their
weather-roughened faces softened and their eyes grew moist. Even the
enemy's pickets, who were separated from them by but a narrow cornfield,
dropped the butts of their muskets on the ground and waited in respectful
silence till the dead soldier was borne from the field. Such was often the
kindness shown on both sides for the dead and wounded. Is it any wonder,
then, that the war was scarcely over before these same men who had crossed
arms in deadly conflict began to bridge over the bloody chasm, by forgiving
and forgetting, till it seemed that the Kepublic was growing stjonger in the
union of hearts than ever? '
Just before sunset that day all that was mortal of James Kelly was
brought in a rough pine coffin to its last resting place — a grave dug under a
willow, near the river. Bertha had twined a wreath of white roses and
geraniums — which she had gathered at a neighboring farm house — and
placed it on his breast, as a tribute of her friendship. Around the coffin
were gathered the men from St. Arlyle — the friends of bygone years. They
removed the lid, and as each was taking a last lingering look, Bertha knelt
down and severed a lock of his brown hair and pressed the cold lips that
could never more know or feel a kiss unless spirits can come back again
from that land beyond the skies.
Bertha arose, and as the tears stole down her cheeks, said :
"Poor fellow ! he's had a rugged life ! But he's at last at rest ! Let us
hope on heaven's bright shore ! He once did me a noble favor, and I shall
always retain a warm place in my heart for his memory !"
"Yes, ' said Charlie Laudon, "he was as much a hero as the greatest
general in the array, for he gave all he could give for his country — his life !"
The chaplain then read the short burial service, and when it was ended
the escort fired three volleys over the grave and quickly strong arms hid
him from mortal view. And the friends of bygone years turned sorrowfully
back to camp, as they felt that a link was missing in the silver chain of
friendship; endeared by the association of years, till it almost twined with
the golden chain of love !
THE OLD ENEMY AGAIN.
•^ n open foe may be a curse,
<S^ But a pretended friend Is worse.
.ATE one afteruoon, a few days
after the great Battle of Antie-
tam, while Bertha was busily
engaged in attending the wounded
in one of the large hospital tents,
where they had been crowded,
a letter was handed to her. After
dressing the soldier's arm she was
attending, she took the letter and
esan'ined the directions. They were
written in bold, round letters, and
addressed to " Miss Bertha Merton."
Hastily taking the note out of the
envelope, for it was not sealed, she
read as follows :
"Miss Merton : A very dear friend
is lying dangerously wounded, perhaps
dying. Will you come?" * « *
Then followed a description by
which she could find the place. It was
a small cottage situated nearly three miles away, and fully a mile beyond
the Federal outposts, and nearly six miles from one of the enemy's main
bodies, which lay encamped across the Potomac Kiver.
As she read^the epistle her heart gave a wild throb of fear and pain, and it
was all she could do to choke back the tears as she thought : " Is it dear, kind
May who is wounded and dying? Oh, what a cruel thing is war ! It lias
not even spared dear, innocent May !" And then, in spite of all her control,
She burst into tears.
"Yes, I will go to her instantly." So, seizing her hat and cloak, she
started to leave the hospital, when suddenly she remembered that she had
an engagement with Marshall to visit one of the young men from St. Arlyle,
who was lying wounded in another tent. So she sealed the letter, and,
16 THROUGH W^AR TO PEACE.
handing it to a surgeon, requested him to give it to Major Marsliall when he
called, saying that it would explain itself. Also requesting the doctor to
tell Marshall that she would immediately visit the sick soldier on her return,
she hastened away.
When she started the last beams of day were 'fast fading, and ere she
reached the outposts of the army it was quite dark. But she kept on in
the right direction, for she was too well acquainted with the neighboring
country to lose her way. When she reached the Federal pickets there was
a soldier on guard whom she knew, and he allowed her to pass without any
questions. Leaving the Union lines, she walked rapidly, yet cautiously,
toward the enemy. When within a couple of hundred yards of the cottage,
she suddenly came upon an advanced post of Confederates — evidently a
reconnoiteriiig party which had crossed the river — consisting of three men,
one of whom cried :
" Halt ! Who goes there?"
But before she could reply one of his comrades said :
"It's a lady. One of the oflBcer's wives, I guess. Let her pass."
Years after, when the war was over, she learned that the soldier who had
spoken last was a Vandal who had left St. Arlyle and joined the Confederate
army. He had instantly recognized her, and had made up his mind that
she should pasa unmolested.
The direction in the letter had been so plain that she easily found the
house. Crossing the small garden in front of it, she stood knocking at the
door before a thought of fear or of her strange situation crossed her mind.
For her brain was so excited by emotion that, though her long walk had
almost exhausted her strength, she was scarcely aware of it.
On knocking at the door a muffled voice within cried : "Come in."
Pushing open the door, she entered. The apartment was almost in dark-
ness, except for a lamp burning dimly. Her first thoughts were of May, as
she walked to a bed in one corner and drew back the covering. It was un-
occupied. At that instant the lamp was turned up, flooding the room with
light, and the next moment a hand was laid on her shoulder. She started,
and, looking up, saw the face of John Shackle!
Her heart gave a wild bound of terror, and her pale face grew even whiter
as she felt she was again in this villain's power !
" Well, we've met again ! " he said, triumphantly, while a sardonic grin
curled his flabby lips.
"So I see," she said, calmly, rapidly i-egaining her seif-possession.
" You take it very coolly," he exclaimed, sarcastically.
But he immediately recognized that she was no longer the innocent though
clover girl of a few months before; but a woman, whom experience with
the world had rendered wiser and more discerning, though it had robbed
her of none of the noble sweetness of her nature.
"What else could I do?" she asked, demurely.
"You are not as innocent as you pretend to be," he replied, mockingly.
" Perhaps not ; but, as I said before, what am I to do? Cry?"
"No," he said, sharply, "it wouldn't do you any good if you did."
" No, of coui'S) not. But why cannot we be friends?"
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 17
*• Are you sincere?"
" Why should I not be? You have never injured me."
"No, not that I remember. But are you willing to aid nie?"
"Yes, if your requests are reasonable."
" But who is to be the judge of that? You or I?"
"Both of us, I suppose," she replied, smiling.
" Yes, it takes two to make a bargain."
" Then state your proposition."
"Not quite yet, my lady. You think you're sharp, don't you? But I'u
a lawyer, and I know what's what."
"No, I don't think I'm a match for you."
"Oh, you don't!" sarcastically.
" No indeed, Mr. Shackle."
" I supposed you did," he said, sneeringly.
"But I do not."
"You escaped from me nicely last time. I suppose you think you can do
"I don't see much of a chance," she said, laughing.
" Neither do I. I've got you in my power this time."
" Yes, I suppose so," she replied, looking furtively toward the door.
He saw her glances, as he said, triumphantly : " You needn t look at the
door. I've locked it. Now why don't you cry?"
"Why should I? You are not my enemy. Ycu never did me an injury."
"Then why did you run away before?"
" Because I was younger then, and knew no better."
" I suppose you are smarter now," he said, sneeringly.
" I don't know."
" You wouldn't run away now, because you haven't the chance."
"No," she answered, laughing.
"No, of course not," he said, as involuntarily a smile crossed his lips.
"You don't do anything you can't."
"No, never," smiling.
"I suppose you thought the English detectives hai me safe long ago.
But I was too sharp for them."
" Yes, I see you were."
A look of pride swept over his face at her answer, as he said :
"Yes, those London detectives will find me a match for them. I've
thrown them entirely off the scent this time. They do not even dream that .
I am in the Confederate States. They were looking for me in Canada, the
last time I heard from them. They imagine themselves very smart, but I'll
show them a trick worth two of theirs ! I'll allure them here. And then,
you know, in a war-swept country like this, it is not an unusual thing to see
a man with a bullet hole through his head, or a bayonet thrust in his heart!
It doesn't even excite comment. I'll soon have them out of the way, when
I once get them here. It's annoying, to say the least, to ha»» these Lon-
don devils dogging one around. But I'll give them more than they bargained
for ! But there is one thing I need to accomplish my little scheme — that i »
money. And you can help me obtain it. You must !" ,
18 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
" Yes," she replied, but as you are, perhaps, well aware, I have none with
me. But I can return to the Federal camp and undoubtedly obtain it for
you," she continued, eagerly, as her heart beat exultingly at the thought of
"No doubt you could, if you would do so. But if you were once to get
back to the Federal lines you would forget all about me. Your dear little
memory would be very short.''
"No, 1 will surely fulfill my promise if you will let me go."
" I doubt it.''
" I will swear to it!" she cried, desperately.
" 1 have no doubt. But I don't mean to trust you. I don't intend to be
" But I will surely fulfill my promise," she cried, earnestly.
" Words are cheap, my lady. But you are dealing with too sharp a man
to so easily escape. So don't waste your breath."
"Then how can I obtain you the money?"
" Easily enough. Sign this check on the bank in the city near St. Arlyle,
and I can soon obtain the money."
" I am not aware that I have a cent in that bank."
" I will take my chances on that."
" I don't think the bank authorities are familiar with my signature. For
if I have any money there my father dejiosited it."
" 1 will attend to that. Sign this check."
" But," she said, "if you will let me go back I will certainly obtain the
money for you if it lies in my power. 1 swear it !"'
"I see what is in your mind. It is escape. But it is no use ! You are
only wasting words. Sign this check. For I inform you, most emphatically,
that all your promises and protests are wasted on me."
"But if you would "
" Co)ifo'iuid it! " he interrupted, angrily, "you are only wasting words,
and making a fool of yourself! Sign! I tell you, sign!"
" But will you let me return, if I sign it?"
" Yes," he said, gruffly.
"Upon your honor?"
" Of course I will, you little fool! " he exclaimed, angrily. '• What in
thunder do you suppose I would want with you?"
" Very well," she answered, as she seated herself at the little stand.
"Now," he said, "don't try to disguise your handwriting, or I'll make you
write it over again."
" No, I will not," she said, as she read the paper over. Then, adding her
name to it, she arose, saying :
" Now, will you let me go?"
"No, I'm not through with you yet. Do you suppose I am such an idiot
as to allow you to go and have the payment of the check stopped?"
"But I will swear to heaven that I will not do so," she exclaimed, ex-
" Bah ! no more of your promises. Have I not told you often enough I
would not trust you? You are only wasting your breath 1"
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. ' 19
" But you promised to release me."
"Well, what of it?"
"Then you told a falsehood."
"That don't trouble my conscience much. I've told many a lie before."
" But what am I to do? I can't stay here,'' she cried, pathetically.
"No, of course not. I will take you witl me to the Confederate camp.
How do you like the proposition?"
" I don't like it," she said, tremblingly.
" I supposed you wouldn't."
"Are you an officer of the Confederate army?" she asked, suddenly.
"Then — " she commenced, but suddenly stopped.
"Then," he said, divining her question, "what am I doing in it? I pre-
tend to be a war correspondent, but that is a mere blind, while I work out a
scheme of mine. My name is now Charles Thorne. And don't you forget
it. So you don't like the proposition?"
" No," she said, struggling hard to keep back her temper, fearing his
"Well, there is a way to avoid it. You have requested that we might be
"And I have nothing against you, although your stubbornness came near
getting me into a serious difficulty once. But I will let that pass. Of
course you are aware that you are deucedly pretty, in spite of all your
Instinctively she divined his meaning, but fear and anger kept her silent.
" Well, I won't be hard on you," he contmued, after waiting several
moments for her to speak. " Now, if you will accept my proposition, you
may go back to the Federal camp. It is that you will swear before heaven
that you will marry me within a year."
"Never!"' she cried, the whole indignation and scorn of her nature
flashing forth in her face and large, black eyes.
" Then I'll kuin you ! !" he yelled, as a demoniacal expression of anger
Bwept over his distorted face, that sent a thrill of terror through her heart.
A NEMESIS ON HIS TKACK.
^KlME at last sets all things even ;
^^ And if we do but watch the hour.
There never yet was human power.
Which could evade, it uufor^iven,
The patient search, and vigil long,
Of him who treasures up a wrong.
>BOUT half an hour after Bertha left the hospital tent, Mar-
shall entered and inquired for her. He soon found the
surgeon to whom she had given the letter, and as he gave
it to Marshall he remarked that Miss Merton had said that
it would explain all. On receiving the epistle, Marshall
walked to an opening in the tent, and hastily glanced at the
address in the fast waning daylight. He knew the handwriting in an in-
stant. And over his face came an expi-ession of anger and determination,
that rapidly became mingled with sadness, as the writing recalled the bitter
memories of long fled years. He tore open the envelope, and without
relaxing a muscle of his rigidly drawn face, read the epistle through, then
here escaped between his set teeth but a single word :
" Entrapped !"
Turning on his heel he walked back to the surgeon, and asked :
'•Doctor, how long is it since Miss Merton left?" ,
"Not quite half an hour."
"ThaJik heaven ! I'm yet in time to save Bertha," he muttered to him-
self, as he strode away toward his tent. Reaching it^he entered, and taking^
his pistol and sword from a table, he attached it to his belt, and buckling it
on, walked to the entrance way. As he stood leaning agamst the tent pole
he formed a fine manly picture in the evening light, his thick, black wavy-
hair pushed back from the broad, white brow of his uncovered head, and
his tall, full figure clad in a dark blue uniform with its golden buttons across-
his breast, while on each shoulder gleamed and danced in the uncertain
light the golden leaves of a major.
Standing there in the dim, shadowy twilight, oblivious to the noisy hum,
and the thousands of expiring camp-fires of the large army — for his thoughts
were drifting backward to dear and sad scenes of his boyhood, far acnibS
the dark, blue waves — there came over his face a tender sadness, that illu-
THROUGH WAR, TO PEACE. 21
rninated it with a nobleness that almost rendered it handsome, were it not
for the traces of dissipation there.
But gradually the sadness of his face melted away — like snow on a vol-
cano's peak from the internal tire — and over it came a look of determination,
mingled with anger, as he thought :
"So you've crossed my path again, James Sneaker — or John Shackle, as
you call yourself now! I think I would have known your handwriting
for it seems engraven on my heart in lettei'S of fire — had you attempted to
disguise it, or were my eyes grown dim with years. Your cruel deed started
me on the downward path, twenty long years ago ! And you, alone, are
responsible for the dissipated life I've led ! You allured my only sister on
to ruin, as fair and noble a giil as ever placed her heart and hand in a vil-
lain's care ! You betrayed her and left her alone to face a cold and heartless
world ! She felt her disgrace bitterly, to her very heart's core, and saw but
one escape from her shame — in death ! So she took the cup of poison and
drank it to the dregs ! And to-night she sleeps peacefully in her tomb !
And when her spirit is wafted beyond the sky, I think the God of all will
uot Judge her too harshly for her only sin !
" But, Shackle, I do not envy you your conscience, or your reckoning with
youi Creator, when your wicked course is run ! You had me thrown into
prison when I tried to avenge the dearest and sweetest of sisters — I can see
her now, in my wild imagination, and again stroke her dark brown, wavy
hair, and watch her liquid black eyes look trustingly up to mine ! Yes, my
darling Nelly, I can see your sweet face gazing up from the grave for ven-
geante ! And here, to-night, amid the clash of war, between the contending
armies, where there is no perverted justice or judge, we shall meet, and
then 1 shall show you as little mercy as you showed to her !
"You think to have another victim in Bertha Merton, but retribution is
close on your track! I'll cleave your wicked body, or else my right hand
has lost its cunning, and my steel will refuse to cut! Yes, I'll tlucart your
devilish purpose, or leave another victim for you to gloat over!
" But I must to action, and, ere the day dawns, settle the old score with
With these last thoughts he entered the tent again, and putting on a
large black overcoat, which he buttoned across his breast to conceal his
uniform, he strode out and walked rapidly through the camp. Beaching
and passing the Union pickets without difficulty, he moved rapidly, yet
watchfully, toward the cottage. When within about a quarter of a mile of
it he suddenly came upon four Confederates kneeling on the ground in a
group. They had been making a reconnoissance in front of the Federal
lines, and had now fallen back to a more safe distance, out of the range of
the pickets' rifles.
Marshall, as he approached them, assumed a bold demeanor, as if he
were one of their officers, and cried commaudiiigly :
" Halt ! Who goes there?"
They made no reply at first, and seemed inclined to retreat, but after a
hurried conference one of them answered:
^2 THROUGH WAR TO FEACE.
•'Advauce, friends, and give the countersign !"
" Stonewall Jackson !" replied one of tlie soldiers.
"All right," said Marshall, as he passed onward.
A few minutes after, Marshall i-eached the cottage garden, and, pushing
open the little gate, walked up to the door.
As Shackle yelled the words, " I'll ruin i/ou!" he sprang forward and
seized Bertha savagely by the shoulder. When she felt his grasp all hope
died within her heart, and a feeling of horror seized her. Almost at that
Instant a muscular shoulder was thrown against the door, the lock bursted
from its fastenings, and as the door swung open, Marshall sprang into the
"Back, villainr he cried. "Backr'
As he spoke he tlirew off his overcoat — which he had previously unbut-
toned — while his hand, almost involuutarily, grasped his sword.
"Save vie!" cried Bertha, rushing to him for protection.
He laid his hand gently on hor slioulder, as he said calmly, in a low tone:
•'You are free, my little lady ! I'll attend to the scoundrel ! Now, go back
to the camp."
"But he may wound you," she said, hesitatingly.
*'No danger of that: I'm too good a swordsman for him !"
She still lingered, and he continued, " Go, Miss Mertou. Go ! I'll soon
settle loith him! I ivant you to leave."
"Very well," she answered, and left the room.
Shackle stood glaring at Marshall like some wild beast at bay, his face
convulsed with rage, while his eyes seemed balls of fire, ready to start from
their sockets ! For some moments there was a death-like silence, then
Shackle hissed between his tightly clenched teeth, with an oath, as he
grasped his sword handle almost convulsively :
" Marshall, I'm a dangerous man ! I'll cut your heart out if you don't
An expi'ession of the strongest contempt and defiance crossed Marshall's
face, mingled with a sne,er, as he said, scornfully :
"I've courted death too often to have a single /ea?- now! My God ! how
I have prayed and waited /or this!"
At Marshall's words there swept over the villian's distorted face an inde-
scribable expression of fear, while his hand trembled. And as he gazed into
the face of the other, and saw there a calm, cold desperation — such as only
comes over a man through years of anger, suffering and disappointment —
he saw but one chance of escape — that of kilJng his adversary.
The two men stood watching each other, (like two wild beasts of prey
before making a spring) for a few seconds, each waiting for the other to
commence the death struggle, then Marshall said, in a calm, icy tone, that
rang out sharp and distinct:
"Are you ready? Then defend yourself!"
Instantly their swords crossed with a sharp, metallic ring. Almost the
next instant Shackle disengaged his blade and made a thrust i/i carte, which
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 23
though Marshall skillfully parried, just grazed his arm, tearing the sleeve of
"Ah !" thought Marshall, "he's a better swordsman than I thought. I
must watch him !"
Then their blades crossed again, and for nearly a minute the clash of the
steel rang through the apartment, each evidently waiting for the other to
make a thrust. At last Shackle grew furious with rage, and stepping
slightly backward, then advancing, made a quick, vigorous thrust, which
the other parried, instantly giviug a counter thrust, just scratching his
adversary's arm with the point of the blade.
With an oath of rage. Shackle made a furious thrust, that required all the
other's skill and power to parry.
Once more their swords crossed, and for fully a minute and a half their
blades clashed, as if in sword-play. Shackle's face was distorted with rage
and fear, and his arm trembled, while the other's countenance was calm and
determined. One would have thought, to have glanced at it, that he was
but playing with his adversary. As the struggle went on Shackle grew more
and more furious, for the very calmness of his opponent seemed to uige on
Finally, he could bear it no longer, and with a wild yell of rage, like a
madman, he made a powerful lunge at Marshall. The latter was fully pre-
pared, and, stepping backward, easily parried the thrust, and then springing
forward, gave a quick one in return, piercing the other's shoulder. From
the wound the hot blood flowed freely, as with a howl more of uncontrollable
anger than pain. Shackle leaped backward, knocking over the lamp, and
plunging the room in darkness !
The next moment Marshall heard the crash of a breaking window, and
Shackle had sprung through it, carrying with him sash and glass. Immedi-
ately Marshall started to follow, but as he stepped on the window-sill, he
heard two shots in rapid succession, and Shackle fell dead, shot through the
heart ! Springing upon the ground, Marshall gazed in the direction of the
flashes, and saw two men, still grasping their smoking pistols.
In answer to the former's inquiring looks, one of the men raised his
lantern, and unbuttoning his coat, showed his badge of authority, as he
" We're London detectives. He was a bad 'un ! A dangerous cove !"
'• Yes, he was," replied Marshall. "I've been amusing him, myself, inside,
but it got too hot for him, and he jumped out. But it seems, from appear-
ances, that he jumped from the. frying pan into the^re.'"
"Yes," replied one of the detectives, smiling grimly. "We've tracked
him over half the continent, but we've got 'im at last ! But I tell you! he
was a sharp 'uu ! Up to all kinds of tricks and deviltry ! He got away
from us many a time by a close shave ! But I think we've made short work
of 'im this time !"
The three men knelt down by the prostrate villain and gazed into his face.
It was horribly distorted in death, with hatred, rage and fear impressed upon
it. And as used to death as these men were, they started back in horror at
the awful sight ! As one of the detectives said, laconically :
2Jf THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
Aud so he was, and Jeremiah Marshall's revenge was complete !
Entering the house again, Marshall took his overcoat from the Iloor and
putting it on, strode out and stood looking at the body.
" We'll take care of him," said one of the detectives. "There's a big
reward for him in London, dead or alive !"
"Very well," replied Marshall, as he moved away in the gloom toward
tlie Federal camp.
When he reached the Confederate outpost one of the soldiers cried :
" Halt ! Who goes there?"
"Advance, friend, and give the countersign !" cried the Confederate,
bringing his gun to a ready.
" Stonewall Jackson !"
"All right. Pass."
Again he pressed forward, till stopped by a picket, who cried :
" Halt ! Who goes there?"
"Advance, friend, and give the countersign !"
"It's all right,'' replied Marshall.
" No, it is not! I have orders to hold you till the arrival of the Corporal
of the Guard."
" 1 am a Federal officer."
"So much the worse for you! You have been communicating with the
" How do you know?"
"You have been watched, and seen to enter their lines. It is needless to
talk further," said the soldier, seeing Marshall hesitate, "my orders are
strict. I am compelled to call the Corporal of the Guard."
Then he called out, " Corporal of the Guard, post Number Four!" Then
from post to post, along the line, raug, " Corporal of the Guard, post Num-
ber Four !" " Corporal of the Guard, post Number Four !"
The Corporal of the Guard came up at a double-quick, with his gun at
riglit-shoulder-shift, and, as he halted, he said :
"Well, what's up?"
" Major Marshall has returned."
" Major, I must arrest you. I have received orders to do so," said the
Corporal, as he placed his hand on Marshall's shoulder. And without.further
parley, Marshall was a priaoner of war!
JUST IN THE NICK OP TIME.
HERE'S a dlviuity that shapes our euds,
Roufe'h hew them how we may.
iKOtJXD a long pine table, in a large tent, were seated thirteen
officers, equal or superior in rank to Major Marshall, con-
stituting a general court-martial, that was to try the charges
against the latter, that of "holding correspondence with,
and giving intelligence to the enemy." These were very
serious charge, tor, if proven, their punishment, in time of
war, was by death. A cour^-raartial during hostilities is entirely a different
body in its action from one in time of peace. During tranquility a trial by
court-martial may drag along for weeks, even months, befoie arriving at a
decision, but when the army is in active iiostilities its action is usually short
and decisive. And then again, the punishments meted out are very differ-
ent; in peace the penalties rarely exceed fine or imprisonment, or, in the
case of an officer, dismissal from the service; but during war the punish-
ment is frequently by death. And this is necessarily right, ior a soldier or
officer may in tranqudity give information to outsiders that may make little
or no material difference, but which, given in the tace of an enemy, may
thwart a generxl's plans, cost the army thousands of men, or even bring
upon it defeat or ruin.
The officers of the court-martial were seated at the table according to rank,
the president at its head, the judge advocate opposite, and the others on the
right and left of the former, beginning at the head of the table with the
highest rank. Marshall was seated at the right hand of the judge advocate
(the prisoner's place,) while the witnesses were standing at his left.
From the officers' sober faces, and their constrained, hesitating manners
— that spoke more than words — one could plainly observe that it was an
uncongenial duty fcr them. And it is nearly always so, for in the army
there springs up among the soldiers a strong friendship, particularly in each
regiment, but still extending through the entire army, engendered by the
very hardships, dangers and scenes of death they have passed through to-
gether. But in Marshall's case it was more so, for he, by his good hearted-
ness. genial ways, and his ready, witty remarks and answers, had won a
host of friends, some of \r*hom were now members of the court-martial.
26 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
The court being called to order, the judge advocate read the order for its
assQmbling, also the charges to be investigated, then followed the question
whethe'- or not the prisoner wished to challenge any member.
"No, I do not," replied Marshall, calmly, "I am perfectly satisfied with
every officer chosen."
The members of the court were then sworn, followed by the reading of
the charges to the prisoner, and the latter's arraignment by the question:
" Major Marshall, you have heard the charges preferred against you ; how
say you— guilty or not guilty V"
" Not guilty," replied Marshall, and the trial began.
There were three principal witnesses against Marshall, the picket who had
arrested him, and two police guards.
One of the latter was the first sworn, and testified that he had had his
attention drawn to Major Marshall by seeing him pass their pickets and
move directly toward the enemy. His Suspicions were aroused, so he fol-
lowed him, first calling another guard to accompany him. "We approached,"
the witness continued, "an outpost— or rather scouting party — of the
enemy, and after a short parley passed. We could not hear the conversation,
as we were too far away, but we supposed he gave their countersign, for
the Confederates seemed satisfied. We then notified the proper authority
of Marshall's strange action, who ordered the pickets to arrest him if he
returned. After this we hid in the darkness, as near the Con federates as we
could without attracting their attention. After about three quarters of an
hour Major Marshall returned, and as he was passing the enemy's scouts
we heard one of them demand the countersign, which he undoubtedly gave,
for one of them replied, 'All right, pass.' "
The other police guard now gave his testimony, corroborating that of his
The sentinel then gave the particulars of the arrest, after which several
other witnesses were examined, but their evidence was of little value.
Then, amid an almost breathless silence, Marshall arose and briefly stated
his side of the case. But it was evident from his careless manner and
words that he had no hopes of acquittal. For from the moment he learned
that he had been followed and watched by the guards he yielded to his fate.
He stated that his reason for going to the cottage beyond the Federal lines
was to rescue a lady friend from a scoundrel, who had decoyed her there by
a falsehood about a pretended sick friend. He further said that he had
released the lady and become engaged in a duel with swords with her former
captor. That the latter, becoming hard pressed, had sprung from the \vm-
dow but before he could escape he had been mortally wounded by two
English detectives, who were searching for him for the crime of murder.
"But who and where was the lady?'" the judge advocate asked. She
would be an important witness in his favor.
This question he refused to answer unless the court would guarantee that
no charges should be preferred against her. But this it did not h-ive the
power to promise, as he very well knew. The judge advocate urged and
entreated him to reveal the lady's name, but in vain, for in his resolution
not to implicate Bertha he remained firm, nobly declaring that if ho must
THROUGH WAR TO RE ICE. 27
suffer, he would not bring her into trouble.
But what had become of the English detectives? suggested a member.
They would be excellent witnesses in his favor.
He did not know where they now were, but one of them had informed
him that they were going to New York. Concerning them he spoke freely,
describing them, giving their names and other particulars. But this infor-
mation was of no value, for no one knew where they were to be found.
At last, animated by the warm zeal the others had manifested in his favor,
Marshall arose and made a brilliant, logical argument in his own behalf.
But, taken as a whole, it was a poor defense, and no one knew it better than
did Marshall himself.
Then followed the finding of the court, but we shall not go into details,
but simply say that, notwithstanding Marshall's weak defense, there were
three who voted "Not guilty." They were willing to believe his simple
story — implausible as it may have seemed to the others — without asking for
further proof. But the other ten members made the necessary- two-third
vote which is required to determine the conviction of a prisoner, when, as
in this case, the law absolutely and without any discretion in the court, con-
demns him to suffer death.
As the guards led Marshall away, he appeared by far the most calm
and unconcei'ned person present, and when he reached the open air and his
old village friends plied him with questions concerning the result, he replied
coolly, and with a recklessness so characteristic of the man and the life of
danger and vicissitudes he had led for years.
"Well, boys, they've sort of annihilated, kind of Vandalized me !"
Marshall was placed in confinement and closely guarded till the day for
the execution arrived, but five days after his sentence.
It was a warm, clear day, toward the close of September ; the sky formed
a bright blue arch above — except for an occasional white cloud floating here
and there — while a warm breeze swept gently along the Shenandoah Valley,
giving as yet no signs of the approaching winter, when the somber cortege
containing Marshall and his coffin in an ambulance, surrounded by a guard,
started for the place chosen for the execution, about half a mile from the
camp. Arriving near the spot, Marshall left the ambulance, and walked
with a firm step to the ground selected. Here a grave had been dug,
and near it was placed the coSin, while Marshall took his place beside
it. In front of him stood the firing party, two from each regiment, half
of whom were held in reserve, while outside of this was drawn up-
forming three sides of a hollow square — the long gleaming lines of an
entire division. Near Marshall's right stood a small group of nipu, and
the deep shadow of gloom on their countenances showed that they were
more than ordinary observers. They were his old* friends from St. Arlyle
A few minutes before, each had shaken hands with him and bade him a sad
farewell. During his imprisonment they had — led by Charles Landon — made
every effort in their power to effect his release, but in vain.
On every face in that huge throng there was a solemn, sober expression,
for although amid the shock of battle a soldier may see a comrade fall dead
or wounded, and, in his excitement and eagerness to press on to victory,
28 THROUGH JVJB TO PEACE.
may hardly notice it, yet in his calm moments to see a comrade executed in
cold blood savors too much of the feeling that it is murder.
"When Marshall had taken his place near the open grave, the provost mar-
shal stepped forward and read the sentence. His voice trembled, while his
eyes grew moist, for he and Marshall were old friends ! When he finished
reading he approached the accused, and as he shook hands with him said
sadly, as he brushed away a tear with his coat sleeve ;
" Marshall, old friend, this is a hard duty for me to perform ! I wish to
heaven there was a way to escape it !"
" Never mind, Ned, old fellow." said Marshall, coolly, "you can't help
it. So dun't take it to heart so."
"I wish from the bottom of my heart," replied the other, "I could lielp
'Yes, I know you would. Thank j'ou, Ned, my dear feliow, and don't
forget the message for my folks across the sea. Farewell !"
" No, I'll not forget it ! Goodbye !"
Then the usual question was asked, if he had anything to say why the
sentence should not be executed.
He raised his head, and, turning his gaze toward the men, said in a calm,
clear voice, without the tremble of a muscle :
" Fellow soldiers, I wish to say but a few words to you. I am satisfied with
the decision, for I cannot well see how it could have been otherwise. For
events have transpired to seemingly prove ray guilt, till it looked as if fate
liiid willed it thus. But through all my life, with all my faults — and I know
tliey are not a few — I have never proved false to the flag I swore to defend '
I had hoped that if ever I met death on the field of strife it would be amid
the shock of battle, fighting a common foe. For the dearest wish of my
heart was that when all was over with me — to have the news sent over to
my dear mother, far across the dark blue waves, in Erin's isle, that her son
had proved true to the trust reposed in him. But it has been willed other-
wise, and I submit ! So, comrades, with my friendship to you all and with
ennaity to none, I bid you a last farewell !"
For several moments after Marshall ceased speaking there was a deathlike
silence, and amid it the officer of the firing party stepped forward and drew
his sword. Every eye was fixed on the prisoner, as with throbbing hearts
and bated breaths they waited, in awful silence, expecting the next moment
to see him fall, riddled with bullets, as the officer gave the command :
" Keudy — Aim "
At that instant there was confusion in the ranks of the division, attract-
ing general attention, and the next moment they parted and a horseman
rode rapidly through the gap and bounded in front of the firing squad ! As
he reined up his horse lie cried^: " Carry — ArmaP''
There vpas a hesitation of several moments, as the men stood spell-bound,
gazing with woudf.r at the officer, who, with the glittering stars of a major
general, had so suddenly appeared before them. Then on many a lip trem-
bled the question : " Who is he?" But as he repeated the command in a
clear, ringing voice, there was an indescribable magnetism in it, as they
recognized the man whose presence had sent a <iirill through them on many
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. W
a blood}' field. It iras General George B. McCIellan!
When the order was obeyed, the General said briefly: "E%'idence has
been received whu'h entirely exonerates Major Marshall. He will therefoie
report to his regiment."
Then, turning his horse, the General bounded away, as a cheei broke
from the firing squad, which he gracefully acknowledged by raising his hat.
This was the signal for a general burst from the division, which grew into a
perfect storm or cheers, as he galloped through the line These were fol-
lowed by storm after stoim of huzzas, till their dashing commander rode
out of view.
Meanwhile Marshall stood bewildered with ,oy, like one in a dream, till
the men broke ranks and crowded aiound him. The first to spring to his
side were his village friends, and as Charlie Landon grasped his hand he
"TliHuk heaven for this ! All's well that ends well !"
"Yes," said Marshall, "God moves in His mysterious way, but He does
all things for the best !"
Then, as the air rang with cheers, as his comrades almost caught him in
their arms, his eyes for the first time grew moist with emotion, that fear
had been powerless to effect.
The explanation of Marshall's rescue is soon told. But three days before
the time fixed for the execution. Bertha heard of it for the first time.
Though it filled her breast with amazement and grief, it did not overpower
her, for she resolved to save him. She immediately attempted to see the
commander-in-chief. Although several times unsuccessful, she at last, by
her womanly, indomitable perseverance, succeeded in accomplishing what
his other friends had failed to do. She told her story so simplj' and with
such earnest sorrow that it won the general's favor. But she was not sat-
isfied till she had obtained the evidence of the detectives, who were now in
New York. Then the general was satisfied, and with that sense of justice
so characteristic of him, immediately sprang on his horse and I'ode rapidly
for the place of execution, .where he arrived just in the nick of time.
For about a month after the Battle of Antietam the Army of the Potomac
lay encamped on the field, then again came the order to move on to the
Confederate capital. On the 26th of October McCIellan began to advance,
and almost at the same time the Confederates began moving to the same
point. It was a grand spectacle — this race between the two great armies ;
the Union forces on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the
Confederates on the west, each making every effort to reach Richmond first !
And eagerly the whole country v?atched for the result.
But on the night of the 7th of November occurred an event that thwarted
all McClellan's plans. On that night, amid a terrible snow storm, he and
General Buruside were seated in the former's tent, when General Bucking-
ham, a messenger from the War Department, arrived and placed in McClel-
lan's hands an order removing hiiu from the command of the army, and
appointing Buruside in his place. McCIellan read the order without a sign
of emotion, then as he gave it to his former lieutenant he said calmly :
" Burnside, you couimauil the army."
so THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
General McClellaii was ordered to report himself at Trenton, in New Jei-
sey, so he immediately made preparations for his departure, Thai night he
issued an address to his troops, full of kindness and regard. And the next
day he visited the various camps and reviewed the officers ana men foi the
last time. It watt a sad day for the army. For never, perhaps, m the
world's history, were men more attached to their ^-ommander, and on their
leader's part, Csesar's Gallic legions were not dearer to him nor the army of
France dearer to Napoleon than was the Army of the Potomac to McClellan.
For he had formed it, and watched it with strongest pride, as it grew in
power and perfection. Then, with it he had shared its triumphs and its
defeats, till it had grown to be the idol of his heart.
As the General, with his staff, rode rapidly through the raulis, gracefully
recognizing and bidding farewell to the men, "the cries and aemonstrations
of the men (says an officer who was there) were beyond all bounds — wild,
impassionate and unrestrained. Disregarding all military forms, they
rushed from their ranks and tlironged around him, with the bitterest com-
plaints against those who had removed from command their beloved
The next morning McGlellan boarded the train for Warrenton When the
cars reached the j unction— where there were several divisions drawn up in line
— a salute from several batteries was fired. Then, as the men caught sight
of their former commander on the platform, the wildest enthusiasm pre-
vailed. The cheers and cries were almost deafening, as the men actually
rushed from the ranks and crowded around the General, to catch a last
gliinpse of him and hear his parting words. Amid a lull in the .storm of
cheers, and just as the train was starting, he stepped to the edge of the
platform and said :
•'Comrades, I wish you to stand by General Burnside, as you have stood
by me, and ail will be well. Good-bye."
It was the signal for a wilder burst of cheers than ever, which continued
till the train was lost from view.
General Burnside fought the Battle of Fredericksburg, in which the Fed-
eral forces were unsuccessful, and then once more the commander of the
Army of the Potomac was changed, and General Joseph Hooker became its
THE BATTLE OF CHANCELLOKSVILLE.
H^HE sun had set:
^^ The leaves with dew were wet;
Down lell a bloody dusk
On the woods that second of May,
Where Stonewall's corps, like a beast of prey,
Tore through, with angry tusk."
JERENELY was drawing to a close a lovely afternoon on the
second of May, 1863, amid the green iiIUs and vales along the
Rappahannock River, in o'd Virginia. The sun was setting in
all his fiery splendor over the lofty summits of the far away
Blue Ridge, bathing them with a rosy hue. The sky abov«
was streaked with streamers of the vividest crimson, whose
edges were bordered with waves of
gold, that gently faded into the
brightest blue. Here and there,
amid the sea of azure, rested small
white clouds, with just the faintest
rosy tinge, like fairy sails lyfng at
anchor on some peaceful ocean's
Away to the west lay the broad
waters of the Potomac, gleaming
in the fading sunlight, while spread-
ing south-westward from the river
were rolling hills and small plains,
covered with the greenest carpet
of spring-time. Between precipi-
tous bluffs, several miles from the
Potomac and nearly parallel with it,
ran the Rappahannock River. On
the south bank of the river stood the town of Fredericksburg, while back of
it arose Marye's Heights, rendered famous, but a few months before, in
the Battle of Fredericksburg, when division after division of the Federal
army had been hurled again and again, but in vain, against the blazing
stone wall near its crest. And now from the same heights gleamed and
flashed in the evening sunlight— as if bidding defiance to all beneath — the
32 THROUGH WJR TO PEACE.
bright cannons of the Confederates. Forming a line with, and extending
from each side of the height, and almost hidden in the ravines and foliage,
had lain, the day before, the army of General Lee, 62,000 strong. But dur-
ing the previous night several divisions of it had marched mysteriously away.
Where were they now? We shall soon see — even before the light of this
day fades into darkness !
A few miles up the river above Fredericlisburg, was the large forest of the
Wilderness ; and in its midst, in several open glens, in the form of a huge
U, with its limbs pointing toward the river, lay the Army of the Potomac.
On every side, the army was surrounded by the trees and thicli undergrowth
of the woods, the only modes of egress and ingress being several narrow
roads, which were guarded by artillery and infantry.
There had been skirmishing with the enemy during the day, but the mou
were now resting. Their arms were stacked, and the soldiers were engaged
in cooking their evening meal, as the low hum of their voices sounded over
the field. The sun had sunk, till it appeared a great fiery ball in the west.
The last beams of day were struggling amid the dark foliage of the forest,
while out of it was floating, from the wild flowers and sweet scented climbers^
the soft, balmy breath of May.
Suddenly there was a commotion in the forest on the right of the army.
Large numbers of birds were frightened from the trees and flew with a shrill
cry over the field. These were followed by hundreds of deer, hares, rabbits
and other game, which sprang over the works and rushed in wild confusion
through the ranks. " VVhat does it mean?" exclaimed the men. But the
next moment they were answered by the blast of bugles and a heavy burst
of cheers and yells, instantly followed by a deadly storm of bullets. Then
they knew that the woods were filled with armed men, and that the terrible
"Stonewall " Jackson with 20,000 men had marched around the army and
fallen like an avalanche upon their flank ! As large numbers of the unarmed
and bewildered men fell dead and wounded before the rain of bullets, the
assaulting legions, with wild yells, sprang from the forest, and the bloody
Battle of Chancellorsville had begun.
As the triumphant Confederates swept over the field, pouring volley after
volley upon the bewildered men, the wildest confusion prevailed, as they
fled in every direction, not even waiting long enough to pick up their arms.
In vain did their officers rush amid the shattered columns and attempt to
rally them ! It was a rout, not even excelled by that of Bull Run. And
when a regiment did halt it was torn to pieces by the merciless fire of the
on-rushing host. At last Jackson's corps reached the breastworks near the
Chancellorsville House, which were defended by a brigade of Infantry, and
here a desperate resistance was made, but it lasted only for a short time,
for the victorious Confederates were not to be stopped, as with a fearful
yell they sprang over the works and crushed the brigade with their superior
numbers. The last remnant of the right wing was now shattered, and fled
in the utmost disorder. The routed troops had nearly reached Hooker's
headquarters, and the on-rush of the faigiti-ves had almost the effect of an
invading array. The situation had grown desperate. Something must be
done, and done quickly, or the Army is lost. A new line of battle must be
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 3S
formed, s© Hooker pushes forward fresh troops. And one of his i onnmand-
ers, Pleasanton, arrives with his artillery at Hazel Grove, just as the
demoralized regiments are rushing wildly past. Close behind them are
coming, on the double-quick, Jackson's legions, like mighty v^'alls of steel —
twenty thousand strong. It is a momentous and critical hour, filled with
the fate of an army. General Pleasanton instantly recognizes the desperate
situation, as he turns to a Pennsylvania battalion of cavalry, which has jus
arrived, and cries wildly :
" Major, you must charge the enemy 1 Save me ten minutes to get my
gunb ready. Go, Xeenan !"
And the brave young officer, as a smile Qits over his face, answers :
Keenan knows it is a fearful chaige, and that he and his brave three hun-
dred will be riding down to certain death. But the young officer — in peace
as gentle and soft-hearted as a girl — never hesitates, and as he turns his
horse he says, laughingly, "Good-bye!' Then he cries: "Cavalry, charge!"
The next instant the three hundred gallant troopers are riding rapidly upon
the twenty thousand foes ! It is an awful duty before them, but not one of
them shi inks from it. On they rush ! They cut through the enemy's skir-
mishers like a tempest, heedless of the score or more saddles that are
emptied ! And then what an awful sight appears before them ! Line after
line of Jackson's legions coming at the double-quick, while amid them are
gleaming in the moonlight thousands upon thousands of bristling bayonets !
But the brave three hundred halt not! and Keenan flings his cap high into
the air, and shouts wildly : "Sabres !"
Instantly every sabre leaps high into the air, and the next moment the
three hundred horses are spurred, till they leap right into the wall of bay-
onets ! The advancing lines are shocked and retarded for nearly a mile.
Then a desperate struggle follows, but it lasts only for a few minutes, then
all is over! And the gallant three hundred are lying weltering in their
blood, on the field with their dead commander. But ever around their deed
will cling a heroic lustre, for as nobly did they fulfill their duty as in that
by-gone cycle, on the field at Thermopj'lee, did Leonidas and his brave three
hundred Spartans, while in defense of their country, fall fighting to a man,
against the mighty Persian host of Xerxes. They fell, but their heroic deed
will ever live in history as one of the brightest examples of American valor !
Again the Confederate legions are pressing onward. But Keenan and his
brave comrades have not fallen in vain ! For more than ten minutes have
elapsed, and General Pleasanton's cannons are in position, pouring a mur-
derous fire on the advancing foe.
Soon after, other artillery and infantry are added to these, and at last the
enemy is checked.
It was now nine o'clock at night. Although the Confederates had been
halted, and the heavy firing had ceased, it was but the lull of preparation
before a more desperate and bloody struggle; for both sides were hurrying
reinforcements to the front. It was at this very time (while forming for the
contest) that the Co"hfederates met with a heavy and irreparable loss.
Stonewall Jackson, the leader and originator of this brilliant night attack^
84 TH BOUGH WAR TO PEACE.
fell mortally wounded. He was shot — while retiirniug from a reconnoisance
— by his own men, who in the moonlight mistook him and his staff fur a
body of the enemy's cavalry.
Upon the fall of Stonewall Jackson, General Hill assumed command, and
a short time after the desultory tire, which had been constantly maintained,
burst almost at once, as if by tlie preconcerted action of both armies, into
wild sheets of flame.
This night-battle was a grand, terrible and soul-stirring scene, that in
after j'ears never could fade or grow dim in the minds of the soldiers who
took part in the ghastly drama of that eventful night ! Although it was
approaching midnight, it was not dark, for a full moon shed its silvery light
over the raging conflict. And on the calm night air, the roar of over a hun-
dred cannons and the thousands of musketry reverberated with awful
distinctness; the sky above was ablaze with the lurid flames of the artillery,
while on the field, in the flashing light, lay the mangled and bloody bodies
of the slain !
Shortly before midnight the firing began to slacken, and soon after ceased.
When the sound of the last gun had died away, the men lay down on their
arms to I'est, but during the few hours that remained before daylight few of
them closed their eyes in sleep. For their brains were far too excited by
the awful and weird scenes they had just passed through to seek repose.
And when their thoughts did wander from the scenes of that eventful
Saturday night, they were to many a more happy Saturday night they had
spent in the peaceful homes far away.
At daylight the next morning, the battle began by the Confederates under
General Stuart — who had taken command after the wounding of General
Hill by a shell — seizing a commanding and elevated position near the
Chancellorsville House, which the Federals, through a llunder, had aban-
doned. Stuart, upon seizing this vantage ground, immediately began
covering it with artillery, but in doing so, he became engaged with the rear
of Hooker's army. This was the signal for the renewal of the battle, and
in a few minutes it was raging along the entire line !
But we shall not describe the battle around Chancellorsville, but turn our
attention to another part of the field, eleven miles further down the river,
where General Sedgewick's corps was stationed, of which the St. Arlyle
regiment formed a part. Sedgewick's corps, during the night, had crossed
the river and entered Fredericksburg, driving the enemy's skirmishers be-
fore them, and were now, at the first beams of day, making preparations
to attack the frowning heights of Fredericksburg.
As soon as daylight breaks, a brigade of Sedgewick's men advance up the
sloping side of the height. The sun is shining, but a fog hangs over the
hillside, and as the men advance beneath it, on that calm Sabbath morning,
a host of sad memories are flooding through their brains, of another day,
a few months before, when they charged the frowning heights again and
again till the glacis was covered with their dead and wounded comrades,
but, alas ! in vain !
All is still as death, until they have almost reached the stone wall near
the hill's crest, then there is a wild burst of flame, a deafening roar and a
THRO UGH WAR TO PEACE. S5
tenible shower of iron and lead is hurled through their ranks ! Kepeatedly
they attempt to carry the breastworks, but their ranks are thinned and torn
asunder by the merciless fire, and they are forced to fall back, leaving the
ground covered w|th their dead and wounded.
But ere long, they are rallied again, at the foot of the hill, and, being
ht'uvily reinforced, once more advance to the attack.
In the center of the attacking column has been placed the St. Arlyle reg-
The men as they press forward, meet with a light fire, till within about
four hundred j'ards of the wall, then the guns on the hill pour a terrific
volley of canister and grape upon them, tearing huge gaps in their ranks,
but they bravely close the breaches and press onward at a run. Charlie
Landon is wounded in the arm, but he is cheering his men on, heedless of
the storm of death. And near him is Marshall, who has all the while been
conspicuous for his bravery. Each moment the fire grows heavier, the air
is filled with deadly missiles, but on the men rush, though the ground is
covered with their slain. At last the stone wall is reached, and regardless
of the withering fire, the Federals leap over it and drive the enemy from
Among the first to vault over the wall are Landon and Marshall, but as
the latter reaches the ground he is struck in the breast by a bullet, but ere
he falls Charlie Landon catches him in his arms. And as Landon lays him
tenderly on the ground the wounded man says :
" Leave me. Colonel. They want you up there !" waving his hand toward
the hill's cre.'^t.
" My poor fellow, it's hard to leave you so, when perhaps you are bleed-
ing to death, and I could help you," said Charlie, sadly, as he looked down
tenderly into the wounded man's face. " But duty forces me onward, and I
suppose I must obey," he continued, as he reluctantly placed the other's
head on a knapsack for a pillow. And as he arose, hesitatingly, there was
a desperate struggle going on in his tender heart, between pity and duty.
♦' Yes, leave me. Colonel; they need you up there."
" I suppose I must ! But it is bitter to do so !"
The regiment had already passed them, and there was not a moment to
lose, for already the men were looking for their leader, so Charlie said hur-
riedly yet tenderly, as he quickly applied a wet pledget, covered with tannic
acid, to the wound, "My dear fellow, I'll be back to you the moment the
struggle is over. Good-bye !"
"Thank you, my boy ! Good-bye !" said the wounded soldier, calmly, as
the other bounded away.
The stone wall and the rifle-pits have been captured and cleared, but the
cannons on the hill are still vomiting with renewed thunder their shot and
shell ! But up the brave fellows go, though their ranks are cut through and
through. But nothing can daunt the courage and enthusiasm of these
heroic men ! At last the hill top is reached, and amid wild cheers the bat-
teries are taken. And in a few moments more the stars and stripes are
floating proudly on the crest !
After capturing the Heights, the Federals pursued the enemy for nearly
36 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
two miles; but the Confederates being strongly reinforced, they were com-
pelled to halt. But the brilliant charge of Sedgewick's men in carrying the
Fredericksburg Heights was in vain, for through several blunders in other
parts of the field, the battle had been already lost. But this brave charge
will ever "shine out as the one relieving brightness amid the gloom of that
So during Tuesday night, amid a violent rain storm, and after three days
of figliting, the Army of the Potomac crossed the river on pontoon bridges,
and the great battle of Chancellorsville was ended !
AT KEST AT LAST.
;JflOLDIER, rest I thy warfare o'er,
Cr" Dream of fighting field no more;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking.
Morn ol toil or night of waking.
iFTEE the battle of Cliancellorsville, the Army of the Potomac
fell back to its old camping ground at Falmouth. Here the
thousands of wounded, who had fallen in the battle, had
been conveyed across the river, filling the numerous hastily
improvised hospitals to their utmost capacity.
Near the outskirts of the town, in a small rose-wreathed
cottage, with a cool, inviting ivy-twined porch, facing a little garden, redo-
lent with blooming flowers, Marshall's St. Arlyle friends had tenderly carried
the wounded soldier. Though his wound was a severe and painful one, it
was not necessarily fatal. Almost from the first, all that medical skill could
do for him had been done, for Dr. Granville and Charles Laudon had been
persistent in their attention to him. Bertha had also hurried to his side,
and all that lay in the power of a woman's gentle hand to perform for a
wounded soldier — and that is more than words can tell — she eagerly did for
him. For she felt that she owed him an inestimable debt of gratitude for
his noble services on that eventful night when she had been allured to the
lonely house near the enemy's lines. And Marshall's conduct afterward,
when arrested, in refusing to criminate her, though thereby he could have
gained a most important witness in his defense, had ennobled him in her
estimation, with martyr-like qualities.
On the fifth day after receiving his wound he seemed to be doing well,
when suddenly one of the ligated arteries broke and bled so profusely that
it required the combined efforts of Dr. Granville and Charlie Landou to con-
trol the hemorrhage. After the ruptured arteiy had been "taken up" he
fell into a gentle sleep, and Bertha, who had been constantly by his side,
left him to attend to others. But as sooil as she was at leisure she eagerly
returned to him.
He had just awoke, and was very pale and weak. After she had given
him a stimulant, in answer to her question of how he felt, he leoked up
vaguely, as if his thoughts were wandering far away, while he said sadly,
yet still with a shade of the old peculiar humor on his pale face:
S8 THROUGH JFJR TO PEACE.
"Sort of annihilated; kind of Vandalized."
Ill spite of her heavy heart, a faint smile crossed her lips at this charac-
He saw it and his pallid face brightened with something of the old humor
as he said :
" I've used those words so long and often that they have almost become
a part of my nature. But I have no doubt they are not far from the
"I hope not," she said, sincerely.
"Yes," he said, calmly, "I have a presentiment that this is the last of
earth for me; that my bark of life is surely and rapidly sailing into the port
of eternity I"
"Cbeefr up," she replied, "for while there's life there's hope. God often
gives us dark hours, so that we may fully appreciate the bright sunshine
He sends at last !"
" True, but I think my sunshine will be in another world !"
That night he slept well and awoke refreshed. And his friends became
much encouraged, thinking he was on the way to recovery.
From the day he had rescued Bertha he had become a changed man.
Since then he had not drunk a drop of liquor; the old almlessness fled, and
he grew more thoughtful and eager to redeem the past. He was not less
brave, but he tried to be nobler and better.
For several days he seemed to grow stronger, but one morning there came
suddenly a rapid change for the worse, and it became evident that his end
was approaching. One afternoon he called Dr. Granville to his side and
" Doctor, it is all over with me, is it not?"
Dr. Granville replied, sadly, "your case is very critical, but there is a
feeble chance for life."
He turned inquiringly to Landon, as Charlie replied:
"Yes, it is a desperate case. But you are in God's hands, you know.
Let us hope for the best."
" Thank 5'ou, Doctor, my boy; I understand. And I am willing to go.
For I think,* now at last, I'm able to say, what I ought to have learned to
say years ago : what is God's will is mine. For He does all things for 1 he
best, though His ways may not always be plain to us. But the good Bock
tells us : 'It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.' And it is, no doubt,
best for us not to know His mysterious ways of kindness."'
" I've courted death before," he continued, "a hundred times and more,
but it has passed me by. And now, when I've commenced to lead a bei t r
life, I'm called ^o go. But perhaps our Heavenly Father, in his s\v<>('t
mercy, calls us when we're at our best. In my poor case, infinitely far
from what I ought to be. But in the future I had hoped to retrieve scinc-
thing of my wasted life — at least do better. But man proposes, and Cod
disposes. And I can't help thinking, always for the best."
Throughout the afternoon and evening the hemorrhage continued, and
late in the night, as he grew weaker and weaker, his mind began to wander
to other scenes, to other days, when in the voyage of life he was but a boy,
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 39
and when hope and young vigor pictured the future with the bright sun-
shine and happiness that onlj^ youth can cherish !
As Charles Landoi\ and Frank Meredith watched by his bedside they often
caught the name of his sister trembling upon his lips, around whose memory
such a wealth of his love was clasped. He saw her again in her girlhood,
in all of her beauty, sweetness and innocence ; and his thoughts of her
were ever thus, to the last.
Then his mind wandered to the after days of his erratic career. In his
thoughts he was again in Tuikey, mingling amid its fields of blood and
death ! Once more the scene was changed, and he was sharing the fate of
down-trodden Greece. Again the drama of his life was varied, and he was
acting over his checkered course in Germany. Another turn of fortune's
wheel, and he was amid Mexico's turbulent strife again. But wherever his
thoughts wandered, there w^re always kind words and wishes for many a
name, of those whos€ friendship he still remembered.
Then, as his mind drifted Into later years and the actors and scenes shifted
again — in his fancy he was living over his life in St. Arlyle. And by his
mutterings they learned that many happy memories of his bygone life were
linked around the little village he never more would see. And as he named
over his village friends, one by one, for not a name was omitted or for-
gotten, the remembrance of each struck a tender chord in his heart.
There were two names he often repeated in his mind's wanderings, and
always with the strongest solicitude and praise. They were those of Bertha
and Charles. Bertha he frequently mentioned as the little curly-headed
child he had watched grow into the beautiful girl.
Of Charlie he often murmured words of strong admiration, but it seemed
to pain and perplex him to think that so brave* and generous a fellow could
be untrue to Bertha.
And now, for the last time, his thoughts changed, for the drama of his
life was almost ended — and in his fancy he was following again the fortunes
of the Army of the Potomac; fighting over the bloody battles of the Penin-
sular campaign ; mingling again amkl the strife of Antietam ; again strug-
gling through the carnage of Fredericksburg. And ere the curtain of his
fancies fell he lived over that bloody and fatal day when his regiment
charged up the glacis, under the fire from the Fredericksburg Heights, on
the battle field of Chancellor sville !
His mutterings cea.sed, and for some time he lay in silence; then his head
moved slightly and he awoke perfectly rational. Charles arose and went to
his bedside, when he asked for a drink of water. After drinking it he turned
his eyes toward Meredith, whose head was bent down on his arms, and
asked, in a whisper: "Is he asleep?"
" Yes," replied Land(jn.
" Bend your head down, my boy !" said he, " I wish to say a few words
privately to you. I wish you to promise to be always a friend — a true friend,
in the strongest, purest and best sense of the word — to Bertha. For she
is a sweet, generous girl, with the truest, noblest heart that ever beat in a
woman's breast. She has a great, heroic soul, as far above envy and greed
as the heavens are above the earth. In her many deeds of kindness she
JfO THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
i-ftalized in all its grandest sweetness, ' What a woman true may be.' "
" Your request is an easy one to grant," replied the young fellow, as a
blush mantled his cheek and a tender light tilled his eyes, "for she is a noble
girl, with a heart as sweet and pure as that of a child. And often when I
have stood amid a group of soldiers, when she passed, and I have seen
them raise their caps and heard them speak almost reverentially of her
many deeds of kindness, as I gazed upon her spiritual beauty. I could almost
see a seraphic halo around her beautiful head. And often in my dreams I
have seen her as an angel, floating above my rude bed, on many a tield of
■strife. How dearly I love her no words can express. And I can only say,
may heaven deal with me, as I deal with her!"
"I am satisfied," said Marshall. "Good night." And he turned his head
over on the pillow and soon fell asleep.
It was late the next morning when Marshall awoke. Bertha had just
entered the room, and as she gazed down at him she noticed how pale his
face had grown, and how weakly he breathed, although his eyes looked un-
usually dark and bright. She bent over him and asked him how he had slept.
At the sound of her voice he turned his gaze toward her in silence, while a
shadow of the old merry smile played on his lips, as if the sight of her ten-
der and beautiful face awoke pleasant memories. He remained silent for
several moments, watching her face, as if fascinated by its tender beauty,
then replied : «
" Very well, indeed."
"I'm glad you've rested well," she said, kindly.
"Yes," he replied, "Heaven is always good to us in the end, and gives us
rest ! That lesson of trust and peace many of us ought to have learned
before. And it seems strange to me now that I could not look through the
mist of life's troubles and ti'ials, to the better and purer home of tranquility ;
the rest God has so freely promised to all.
"For these long years I've led a reckless, erring lite. But I think and
hope that it was more through thoughtlessness than intentional wickedness.
I began those years wrong, with not enough cf faith and hope, but with a
burning desire for revenge, and an utter lack of trust in man — and, I'm
afraid, in God also — that Anally grew into recklessnrss!
"But," he added, "there were days in those wild years of recklessness
when I tried to throw off the wild life, and I thought I had succeeded, when
a mere incudent would bring back the old agonizing sorrow of that evening
I never could forget ! The evening when we learned the truth of my sister's
awful death. That tragic scene can never be effaced from my memory. I
see it now, as I have seen it many times thtough all these years ! My sister
had been keeping company with Shackle for some time — he was a handsome
man then, though when you knew him you would hardly believe it, so
greatly was he changed — when we learned he was already married. But,
on seeking my sister, we found she had fled. My father sent messengers
in every direction to seek her. Meanwhile we were in terrible suspense.
At last one of the messengers found her, and brought us the truth. I shall
never forget the scene that then occurred. It was evening, and my mother,
my father (who was just recovering from a severe attack of pneumonia,)
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 4I
and I were standing on the porch when the messenger came. • He informed
us that he was too late ; and thot my sister had committed suicide by tailing
poison. Then followed an awful spectacle, that through all the after years
has never grown dim ! My mother, with a terrible scream, fell fainting on
the door step ere any one could catch her. My fatlier turned deadly pale,
while he pressed one hand upon his breast, as if to control his agony. Then
I saw his lips were red, and the next instant the hot blood spurted over his
bosom. But ere he fell we caught him and carried him into the house. He
lingered on, but never recovered from the shock. He died a month after —
while I was far away in Turkey. I was at first stunned by the awful news;
my heart seemed to stop beating, and I staggered like a drunken man ; then
tears came to my relief. Then I cursed Shackle with the bitterest anathemas
my tongue could utter, and I swore vengeance should be mine.
" I went to his house and mquired for him, but was spurned from the
door Then, there in the street, I cursed him again and again, with all the
bitterness of my soul. I went home. They had just brought my sister's
body and laid it upon a bed. And as she lay there in death's cold embrace,
in all her wondrous beauty, her image has ever been impressed upon my
mind, through all these after years. She had on the same white dress she
had worn before her death ; not even the white rose had been removed from
her breast, win re she had placed it, while one cold little hand was lying be-
side it, as if she had but just ceased toying with it. Her dark, curly hair
clustered around her pale brow and hung tar down over her shoulders; the
white eyelids were closed, hiding forever the large, lustrous eyes, and her
lips were gentlj- parted, as if in sleep.
" I was wild with grief, and in my madness I challenged Shackle to fight
a duel. He had me arrested, but my friends soon procured bail for me. I
was never prosecuted, for before the daj- of trial came Shackle fled !
" Two days after my sister's death she was buried. I stood by her grave
till I saw the last shovelful of earth thrown in. Then I realized that I had
lost her forever ! The idolized sister, to whom my heart had been so closely
bound. From that moment I became wild and reckless, and I felt I should
never know peace aud hope again ! I only thought and dreamed of ven-
geance ! I lost faith in man, and, I'm afraid, in God too ! My heart became
steeled to danger. I feared nothing — not even death. I went to Turkey,
because theie was war there, and I loved turmoil and strife, for tiie danger
and excitement made me forget my grief. I was the leader in many dan-
gerous expeditions. I even courted death over and over again, but J always
escaped unscathed. My reckless daring won me rapid promotion, but ere
long my ever restlessness urged me onward. I went to Greece, but my
sorrow went with me and would not let me rest. Here, amid the battle
fields of Greece, I grew, if possible, more reckless and daring than ever. I
learned to love danger in its wildest foiins. Nothing daunted me, and the
men imder my command thought I did not know what fear was, or that I
was mad. Perhaps I was. 1 was trying to drown my sorrow, but it clung
to me like the Old Man of the Sea did to Sindbad the Sailor. My fearless-
ness won me promotion. I was on the road to fortune But it was the
same ending. The old restlessness came back with treble its former force,
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
and I flung everything aside and fled to Germany. But, as ever, my grief
went with me.
" I had been in Germany several months, and I was stopping at a hotel in
Berlin, when one warm evening as I was walkingalong the hall of the hotel,
I saw a bedroom door partly open and I casually glanced in. There was a
man lying on the bed, and I knew him in an instant, in spite of his changed
appearance. It ivas Shackle!
"I entered the room and stood leaning over his bed. He was so terribly
changed that even I was shocked at the emaciated, haggard, and wild, haunted
expression of his countenance. In fact, so awfully was he changed that I
would not have recognized him had not his face been constantly before my
mental view. If his face was any criterion, he must have suffered terribly.
But for him there was no room for pitj' in my heart. I recrossed the room,
and, lockmg the door, returned and stood leaning over him, as I drew a
dagger from my breast.
" 'Vengeance ! Vengeance at last is mine !' I thought, as I stood gloating
over him. ' You shall not escape now. I can kill you with as litUe feeling
as I would a wild beast ! I have hoped and longed for this ! And at last it
has come ! You must die like a dog !' I raised the dagger to bury it in his
body. It was already descending in the air, when I suddenly felt a hand
grasp my arm ! I turned my head, and there wasvvj sister standing by nnj
side! Exactly as 1 had last seen her, on the day of her death — in a white
dress, her dark, curly hair clinging about her pale, sweet face, and hanging
far down her shoulders, while one little hand was grasping the white rose
on her breast. I was struck dumb and I almost fainted, while unconsciously
and seemingly by some power stronger than my own, I replaced the dagger.
As I did so, a smile of approval crossed her lips, and the next moment she
melted into air. I left the room, and fled from the city — away from tempt-
"I'm not superstitious, but I shall always think I saw my sister's s|iirit
standing by ray side. I know that physicians account for these supernatural
apparitions by telling us : That in such cases either the brain, the retina or
the optic nerve being unusually excited, are thus rendered sensitive to an
appearance that in reality does not exist. For there is such a close union
between the senses and the mind, that we continually transfer to the real
world — without being aware of it — that which pertains to the realm of
thought. Thus, they say, a picture that has made a deep impression upon
us at one time, will reappear to us during partial sleep, perfect in every de-
tail, or, perhaps, varied by the capricious wanderings of our thoughts. And
that passion and other strong, violent mental feelings are apt to evoke
optical delusions. But, nevertheless I shall always believe I saw her spirit,
and that she came in her spirit form to save me from committing murder!
"From the day I saw her sweet spiritual face there came a change for the
better — there was more of peace m my heart. Not a full peace, but a touch
of tranquility. I endeavored to throw off the old reckless and dissipated
habits, but I could not fully succeed. They had gained too strong a hold
upon me. But still there were times when my heart was nearer peace than
it had known for many years before.
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 43
" When I left Germany I went to Mexico. Of the life I led among its wild,
revolutionary scenes, I shall not dwell. Then I went to St. Arlyle. Of my
life there you are fully familiac. At last the Civil "War broke out. I was a
soldier, and it seemed but natural that 1 should enlist, besides, my heart
was not yet tranquil enough, but that I still loved strife and excitement,
and then, I had truly learned to love the Republic — the grandest example of
liberty and justice the world ever saw, or, perhaps, ever will.
"The night Shackle decoyed you into his power," he continued, " I went
to the hospital to look for you. There I was given the letter you had left
for me. I recognized in a moment that it was Shackle's handwriting, and
I knew that he was again at his old villainy. And I determined to save you^
let it cost what it would. How I followed jou, how I fought Shackle, and
how I was afterward arrested, you are fuliy acquainted.
" The night of my arrest," he continued, atter gasping for breath, "as I
lay sleeping in the guard house, I suddenly awoke, and tl^ere, by my bed-
side stood my sister's spirit, exactly as I had seen her once before ; her dark
hair clustering around her pretty face an.l hanging over the shoulders of
her white dress, while one little hand was gras;>iug the white rose on her
breast. She raised her hand and pointed upward, as a sweet smile crossed
her lips ere she melted away. Then I knew I had her approval in foiling
Shackle's villainy. From that moment there came into my heart a feeling
of rest and peace, that I had yearned for through many a weary year. And
I felt that the old restlessness had fled and in its stead a sweet tranquility
had come ! From that day I quit drinking, and I tried to lead a better life.
And I hope I have not wholly failed."
" I'm sure you've succeeded," said Bertha, warmly.
The dying soldier was silent for some time, gasping for breath. Then he
began in a feeble voice :
" Last night, just before I fell asleep, I saw my sister's spirit standing by
my bed. She appeared exactly as she had done twice before — in a white
robe, her dark hair hanging about her face and neck, while one small hand
was clasping the white rose on her bieast. But there was a light on her
face I had never seen before — a heavenly light, that shed a pure, sweet ra-
diance into my soul. She raised her hand and pointed upward, as she had
done once befoi-e. But instead of fading away, as before, she floated up-
ward, far, far away through clouds and space, till I saw her join the anj,'els
on the heavenly shore. Then I knew she had pointed and shown me the
way. And then my heart, at last, had found the perfect peace and love."
He was rapidly growing weaker, and it was evident that in a few minutes
all would be over, as he said, feebly :
"Miss Bertha, I want you to write to ray mother, and tell her I fell in
defense of the flag I learned to love best of all. Tell her that I died at peace
with my God and man. Tell her that ere my life or hers wtis done, 1 had
hoped to meet her once again in the old home across the water, in Erin's
isle. But it has been willed otherwise, and I submit! Tell her I at last
found the faith she taught me at her knee. The grand, glorious faith God
lias given to us all. And tell her that through it I hope to meet her on the
shining shore of peace !"
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
When he ceased speaking he lay motionless, his eyes closed, and he
breathed imperceptibly, while a deathly pallor covered his face. But after
several moments he slightly rallied, as she bent her ear do^n to catch his
dj'lng words, he said :
" I had hoped, in future years, to lead a better life. The past one was
full of care and unrest. But it was my own fault that I found the thorns
and missed the roses. But then I'll not complain. The greatest crown
of all has been a diadem of thorns! And through it, I hope, I've found the
right path up to God ; the right way home to peace !"
Then over his face came a sweet expression of tranquility ; the rest he
had longed for through many a weary year; and the soldier of fortune had
crossed the dark ocean into the haven of Eternal Rest !
* * * * *
Of the ill-starred life Marshall led, how shall we judge! We, who know
so little of the emotions and struggles of the human heart. For often be-
neath a calm face is hidden the terrible agony of a bitter sorrow for loved
ones, over whom the grass has grown green ; yet around whose memories
grim spectres of the past will rise to haunt even their brightest moments.
Thus in the breasts of all of us, at times, will come welling up memories
haunted by spectres of many shattered hopes, many sorrows, many errors
and vain regrets, that will often make us waver or stray from the beaten
So, only God can fathom the motives that prompt and direct the actions
in each human heart; and, therefore. He alone can estimate the guilt and
the sin. •
THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
ND backward now and forward
Wavers the deep array;
And on the tossing sea of steel
To and fro the standards reel,
.4nd the victorious trumpet peal
Dies fitfully away.
EAUTIFULLY the mol■lllll^' of the first of July, 1863, broke
over Gettysburg; not a cloud obscured the clear blue sky,
while the warm air and streaming sunshine bathed in all its
summer splendor the little town soon to be rendered immortal,
as the field not only of the most decisive and bloody battle of
the Civil War, but as the theatre of one of the greatest con-
flicts of modern times. From early dawn the scene in the little town had
been one of mighty martial splendor and beauty, yet inspiring terror, as
the Army of the Potomac passed through it toward the west, with its long
blue columns of infantry, their bands playing lively strains and their gay
banners floating out on the morning air, while their bright arms flashed and
danced in the sunlight with a dazzling splendor ; its platoons of cavalry,
with, gleaming sabres, followed by its batteries of artillery, their huge guns
darting back the sun-rays, as if bidding defiance to every foe, while amid
its legions rode the crimson-sashed officers, the gold and silver insignia of
rank glittering on their shoulders.
As the morning wore away, with a steady tread the serried ranks of the
Army of the Potomac moved through the town. It was a few minutes past
nine o'clock, when, in the distance, toward the west of the town, a puff of
46 THROUGH M'JB TO PEACE.
white smoke ascended into the clear, blue sky, and the next instant the
crash of musketry rolled into t'.ie streets, followed by the heavy report of a
cannon. "Crash ! crash ! boom ! boom ! " knd in a few minutes the crash has
grown into a continuous crash, and the boom into a mighty roar.
There had been a sudden collision between the Federal General Buford's
re.uiments, drawn up in lineacross the Chambersburg road, and an advancing
division under General Harry Heath, of Lee's army, and the Battle of
Gettysburg had begun.
In a few moments the scene in the town was changed ; the terrible roar of
the heavy guns had broken the spell. The idlers in the streets who were
watching the passing troops turned at the first sound of the guns, and gazed
with excited and frightened faces toward the direction of the rapidly m-
creasing roar, and where the puffs of white smoke above the trees told that
the battle was raging. Through the serried ranks of the moving army there
rolled a gentle ripple of excitement, but it soon increased until it resembled
great waves on some ocean's breast. Then followed a grand, exciting
scene, as the infantry, with flashing arms and streaming standards, pressed
forward at the double-quick, and the cavalry, with clashing and gleaming
sabres, galloped rapidly by, while the artillery horse broke into a rapid trot,
as the heavy guns thundered along, and even the bands struck up wilder
strains, while the drummers loudly rattled their drums, as the trumpeters
sent forth their shrill, piercing notes, while, above the din, the officers
yelled their orders at the top of their voices, and every order was : " For-
ward ! Forward to the front ! "
As the troops rushed forward to the vortex of death, there were no cheers,
no bravado, only the fixed lips and determined faces of the men showed
the gazers, as they passed, that they knew the bloody work they had to do,
and that they intended to do it. . And through the beholder there ran an
awful shudder, as he thought many of them must meet a terrible death, •
mangled by shot and shell.
It was the intention neither of General Mead, nor Lee, to fight the battle
at Gettysburg, but so rapid had been the movements of both armies that
each commander was in ignorance of the whereabouts of the other's troops,
until the morning of the battle. General Lee had intended reaching Cham-
bersburg before giving battle, and Mead advanced his left wing under Gen-
eral Reynolds, in front of Gettysburg, as a feint to divert the enemy's
attention, while he formed a strong line with his main body behind Pipe
Creek, twenty miles distant. Buford, when he found his men in collision
with the Confederates, resolved to hold the enemy in check until the arrival
of his chief. General Reynolds, who, with his command, was two miles
Reynolds, on his arrival, had no orders from General Mead to commence
the battle, but the exigencies of the situation supplied the place of com-
mands. He also saw the necessity of rapid action, as Buford's men were
sorely pressed, and on the point of breaking ; so, forming his entire com-
mand at the edge of the woods, he suddenly charged to Buford's aid. He
and his men were met with a perfect storm of bullets, and while gallantly
leading forward. General Reynolds fell mortally wounded from bis horse,
THROUGH M\dB, TO PEACE. 47
djiug where he fell. Notwithstaudlng the fall of their commander, the
men pressed bravely onward with sueh impetiiositj' that they drove two
Confederate regiments into a railroad excavation, and captured them, with
their battle flags.
Reinforcements rapidly joined both combatants, and the battle raged with
terrible fierceness, the roar of the artillery was terrific, the wild flashes of
flame leaped everywhere amid the suFphurous smoke, like forked lightning,
and solid shot and bursting shells were falling in every direction, while the
air was filled with bullets.
It was new three o'clock, the heat was intense, and the contest was raging
fierce and wild, when, toward the north-east, a long, waving line of gray
appeared in view. The new troops were Stonewall Jackson's old legions,
hurrying to the field, to decide the fate of the day. Reaching the York
road, they debouched into the woods, and with their old, wild battle cry,
fell \\\t\\ crushing force upon the Federal right. The National soldiers,
though outflanked and taken in the rear, changed front and fought with the
utmost bravery, but the fire poured upon them was terrific — for men who
had fought in all the former great battles of the war said they never were
under a hotter fire. At last the Federals began to fall back, slowly at first,
then more rapidly, till finally their ranks were broken and the retreat became
a rout, and they were driven through the streets of Gettysburg in wild con-
fusion, with the loss of five thousand prisoners. The Confederates took
possession of the town, and the Federals fell back on their reserve body,
which had been posted on Cemetery Hill, behind Gettysburg. It was at
this time — as the retreating men were pouring through Gettysburg toward
the Hill — that General Hancock arrived on the field. He had been sent by
General Mead — who was still at Taneytown, 13 miles distant — to take com-
mand, as soon as Mead learned of the battle and the death of Reynolds.
Hancock was very popular with the rank and file of the Armj' of the
Potomac, and his commanding appearance, with his winning, magnetic
manner, added to his dashing gallantrj', did much toward rallying end form-
ing them into a new line. And it was not long before he had the remnant
of the army re-formed on Cemetery Heights, behind ledges, stone walls and
bowlders, presenting an abatis of bristling bayonets. Though order had
been restored, and a strong fiont presented toward the enemy, the Federal
forces were yet in imminent danger, for it was evident they could not resist
successfully a combined attack of the enemy — and defeat meant rum!
It was yet several hours before sunset, and a cloud of Confederate skir-
mishers were already breasting the hill, when to the astonishment and
heart-felt Joy of the Federals, they were suddenly i-ecalled, and thus ended
the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Though it had been a day of
teiTible carnage, yet bloodier days were to follow. And that night General
Lee made a fatal mistake when he did not complete his victory and drive
the Federals from their stronghold, for by sunrise the next morning, most
of Mead's men had arrived, and the Heights of Gettysburg were covered
with the infantry and artillery of the great Army of the Potomac.
The morning of the second of July, 1863, broke over Gettysburg, calm
48 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
and still ; the sun in all its brightness shone through a clear, azure sky,
except for an occasional white cloud that floated ominously above, as if pre-
dicting the terrible storm of human wrath that would sweep over plain and
hill ere the sunset Hushed the west. All night long, on the heights above
the town, had been arriving the reinforcements of the Federal army, and as
the first beams of day gilded vyith roseate hues the Heights, they fell upon
the lines of polished steel — consisting of nearly a hundred thousand men.
In front of the National army, and across a small valley — not more than
a mile and a half distant —was formed the Confederate forces, in the shape
of an immense crescent, nearly five miles in length, and numbering over
ninety thousand men. Viewed by the Federal soldiers on the Heights, they
formed a magnificent spectacle, as their long, gray lines stood there in grim
battle-array, with their bright arms flashing in the July sunlight, almost as
fai as the eye could see, while the black mouths of their cannon*, that thickly
dotted the eastern slope of the hill, frowned ominously up across the vale.
ThuH the two armies met, on the 2d of July, in this viagnificent aniphi-
theatre at Gettysburg, to deckle the fate of the Southern Confederacy.
During the morning there had been some skirmishing, but as the day wore
away all became calm. There was a balmy sweetness in the summer air,
enhanced by nature's sweet repose. And as the glances of those on the
Heigiits fell beneath, they were entranced by the green-leafed woods, the
flourishing orchards, the yellow ripening grain and the verdant meadows, on
whose breasts the cattle were feeding, or lying in the shade of the trees, or
drinking from the silver-hued streams that rip'pled along. It was a scene
of Nature's sweet repose, but soon to be changed by the wrath of man into
scenes of wild turbulence and horror, to fill the air with shrieks of agony,
and with the mighty roar of destruction ; to cover vale and hillside with the
mangled bodies of the siain, and to crimson those silver-hued streams with
human blood. For the soldiers soon to be actors in this terrible drama of
death were no longer the raw recruits who began the war, but men whom
three years of experience with danger, blood and death had taught the awful
duties of soldiers, and they had learned those lessons well ere this, on many
a blood-stained field !
Shortly after three o'clock there fell over the field an awful calm, sublime
in its very oppressiveness, as, with bated breaths and fluttering hearts, the
men of these two great armies — in mighty, grand battle-array — awaited the
It was few minutes of four o'clock, when a Confederate artillery officer
waved his sword in the air, and as the blade flashed in the afternoon's waning
sunlight, there came a mighty roar from over a hundred guns, massed on
the en stern slope of the hill. The cannon balls arched over the little valley
and fell with a crash on the sides and summit of the Heights, as they bounded
from bowlder to bowlder. The next moment the Federal lines above were
swept by a billow of flame, and a hundred and fifty guns hurled back defiance.
The roar of the artillery was terrific, the air was filled with solid shot
and bursting shells, and the sulphurous smoke rolled in huge volumes over
the fleld, while amid it darted the red flames from the cannons' mouths.
But all this was but the prelude for more desperate and deadly work.
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 49
Partly under cover of the smoke of their guns, the Confederates were seen
rapidJy forming in line, and in a few minutes more Longstreet's entire corps,
nearly one third of the army, was pressing forward at the double-quieli to
storm the Federal position, while the Confederate artillery, with renewed
thunder, poured volley after volley over the advancing men's heads. Down
the slope, three lines deep, the men in gray press, then up the glacis toward
the Federals they rush, as their lines flash with the fire of their rifles, and
in a few minutes more, with wild yells and cheers, they fall with tremendous
and savage fury on the Federals.
The battle now raged furiously, and every minute grew wilder and
bloodier, till at last it resembled a tempest-tossed sea of destruction. The
Confederates poured a close, heavy fire, the stone walls and ledges literally
blazed with musketry, and the bullets fell like showers of rain, while over
two hundred cannons dealt forth death and destruction on every side ! Thus
the battle raged all along the line. Cemetery Kidge was a sheet of fire ; on
Gulps Hill both sides charged and counter-charged with demon-like fury ;
but on the semi-circle about Little Round Top the scene of blood and de-
struction was grand, terrific and awful ! Every inch of air seemed to be
alive with bullets, balls and bursting shells; the hillsides were piled with
dead and wounded, yet the desperate men charged and re-charged across
the blood-stained ground and vale of death !
Thus for more than two hours the earth shook and trembled as if an
eaithquake had rumbled through its depths, the thunder of the artillery, the
crash of the musketry was deafening, and the sulphurous smoke swept in
heavy volumes over the field, and, ascending toward the sky, formed a thick
canopy above, as if endeavoring to hide from Heaven the scenes of infernal
horror beneath, and in the dense smoke the men fought as if in a fog, while
the red flames from the cannons darted about amid it, like wild tongues of
fire from some demoniacal abyss !
Thus the tempest of c'.eatli and destruction raged, till the last beams ol
day faded, and darkness shrouded the field. Even then, though the main
body of the Confederate Army had fallen back, yet still between their ad-
vanced skirmishers and the Federals, who were resting on their arms, the
fire was almost continuous throughout the night.
THE CLOSE OF THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.
((^^'WICE Hath the sun on their conflict set,
And risen again, and found them grappling yet.'
VEN as early as four o'clock in the mcrning the desultory fire
of the night increased almost at once into sheets of flame,
and immediately a terrible struggle followed. Ere long the
contestants became so intermingled that it became almost
impossible to use the artillery, for fear of killing friend as
well as foe. As the battle progressed the air became filled
with dust and smoke, and as the sun mounted higher and higher the heat
became intense. The Confederates charged again and again with the utmost
bravery, but with little effect, for they were pitted against men as courage-
ous and determined as themselves.
Through those long, early hours of morning the fighting was desperate
and severe, and the carnage was fearful. That part of the field after the
battle was literally bathed with blood, and thickly covered with the bodies
of the slain — the blue and gray uniforms mingled in one heap — showing the
terrible nature of the determined struggle.
Late in the morning there was a short calm in the storm of battle. Then
suddenly there was a mighty kurst of cheers and yells from thousands of
Confederates, and Ewell's fresh men rushed up the hill and fell with tre-
mendous fury on the National lines. They met with a desperate and stub-
born resistance from the Federals, and a hand to hand struggle followed.
But at last the Federals were forced from their works, and on rushed the
victorious Confederates. But as they approached a stone wall, the men in
blue of an entire division arose before them like an apparition, and poured
upon them a close, heavy volley. They were mowed down like grain before
the sickle, and even these brave warriors could do no more than retreat.
THROUGH ]VAR TO PEACE. 51
It was noon, and the last sounds of the conflict had several' hours before
died away. The morning sliy, which had been partly hidden by clouds, had
now cleared, and the hot July sun-rays poured down with a scorching inten-
sity. There was a deep, unbroken silence brooding over the entire battle
field, like that awful calm of death that rests on an ice-bound sea, and to a
casual observer it seemed as if the battle were over. But it was evident to
tiie Federals on the heights— as they waited under the hot raid-day's sun-
rays, with throbbing hearts and with preoccupied thoughts too deep for
words — that the Confederates were making gigantic preparations for a last
desperate and, it possible, crowning effort for victory. The Confederates
had massed their artillery on Seminary Hili, and a few minutes before one
o'clock the death-like silence was broken bj' the sharp, ringing report of a
Whitworth gun. It was the signal for the battle. Instantly a huge sheet
of flame leaped above Seminary Hill, and the thundering roar af a hundred
and fortj'-flve cannons filled the air, while their mouths poured death and
destruction into the Federal lines. The National commanders ordered their
men to lie down on the ground, and to seek every protection possible behind
walls, ledges and bowlders. But in spite of every precaution the destruc-
tion of life was fearful. Solid shot, shell, canister and grape fell thick
amid the Federals with deadly effect. Men and horses were cut to pieces,
gun-carriages smashed, caissons with their ammunition exploded, and rocks
and trees shattered to fragments. For a quarter of an hour their cannons
hurled destruction into the Federal lines, without a reply. Then came the
National answer, all along the battle line, from the tiery mouths of three
hundred guns, and from Cemetery Hill to Round Top rolled billows of flame,
like a sea of fire. The roar of the artillery and the flash of fire was terrific,
rivaling in its grandeur the wildest thunder storms of nature. The air was
filled with every form of deadly missile, the very earth shook under the
combatants' feet, and the rocks and trees waved and moved as if endowed
with life, while the men staggered about amid the concussed air, on the
trembling earth, as if intoxicated. Thus for two hours thundered this
gigantic artillery battle — of over four hundred guns — the greatest the Amer-
ican continent had ever known, and one of the greatest artillery contests of
the world ; realizing, in its fierce, wild grandeur, one of the most magnifi-
cent, soul-stirring and terror-inspiring scenes of earth !
* :f: - :f: * :,;
At the end of two hours there came a lull from both sides in the terrific
cannonade, and immediately the Confederates began forming in line for a
final and desperate charge for victory, the most bloody and determined of
cdl those four years of war! As they emerged from the trees that covered
the summit of Seminary Hill, and moved steadily and firmly down its slope,
with their lines dressed as well as men on parade, it was a magnificent sight,
and won even a thrill of admiration from the breasts of those above. They
were about a mile distant from the Federal works, and to reach them they
had to descend a hill, cross a small valley, and then climb a hill. They
numbered about 18,000 men, and were formed in double line of battle, with
Pickett's Veteran Virginians leading. As the attacking men moved down
52 THROUGH WAR TO FEACE.
the slope, the National troops on the Heights poured a heavy artillery fire
upon them ; but forward they pressed, with a steady tread and without a
waver, though the solid shot and shell were crashing through their raiilisat
every step. They had advanced about half way when suddenly their can-
nons, which had been firing over their heads, became silent. " What is the
reason?" exclaimed the men, rushing into the vortex of death. "Why?"
asked the Confederates gazing on. " Why?'' wondered the Federals on the
Heights. None knew — not even General Lee — till afterward. The gunners
had exhausted their ammunition! And there, unaided, for half a mile
they must breast alone the storm of shot and shell. But on they pressed,
with a firm front and steady step, seemingly heedless of every fire and fear-
less of every foe. The Federals now opened a murderous fire; the bullets
fell on the advancing troops like hail on a winter's day, and the cannon
balls, shells and canister, ploughed through their ranks, tearing wide gaps
in tlieir front; but on they pressed, up the death-swept slope of Cemetery
Hill, fearless of the deadly missiles, and heedless of their comrades wlio
were being torn to pieces by their sides. As they advance, it becomes one
incessant storm of death-dealing volleys. Along every inch of their front
reared the red crest of Destruction ! I ut those true heroes, splashing blood
at every step, seemed more eager to court death than to escape danger. As
they approached the National line, the ledges and walls literally blazed with
a withering fire, until the air along their front grew black with the wings of
death. But forward press the Confederates. "Will no fire, no loss, drive
them back?" exclaim the Federals.
Before this terrific artillery and musketry fire all the Confederates except
Pickett's brave Virginians have melted away — wounded, dead, or driven
from the field.
The Federal gunners had now fired away their last round of canister, and,
withdrawing their guns, awaited the great struggle between the opposing
infantry. The Virginians were now about two hundred yards distant, and
for the first time since they had begun to face this terrific storm of
death they poured forth well directed volley after volley. The National
troops reserved their fire till the enemy was within about eighty yards,
then they poured upon them a perfect storm of bullets. So incessant and
continuous was the rain of bullets, that it is said that the advancing men
turned their heads to one side, like men facing a driving hail storm. But,
with a desperate determination, onward rush the brave Virginians. As they
near the stone wall they are met by a new danger. The National artillery-
men farther up the hill lower the muzzles of their guns, and pour rapid vol-
leys of canister and grape through their i-anks ; but, heedless of this, they
rush rapidly forward, and, vaulting over the breastworks, plant their
battle flags on the walls. But they were now confronted by a foe of equal
determination and bravery. A veteran division, that had passed through
all the bloody battles of the Peninsular campaign ; men who had been
schooled on the field of death, and who met them with a firm resolu-
tion to win or fall. On neither side was there any shrinking, but, on the
contrary, both combatants were eager to meet in the desperate struggle !
It was a face-to-face and hand-to-hand contest, fought with a desperation
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 53
akin to death. So close were the men together, that their clothes were
burnt bj' the exploding cartridges. The Federals, in their eagerness to fall
upon the enenij', had lost their regimental organization, but each man was
resolute and firm. The struggle now raged fierce and wild. But the end
was near. The Virginians pressed on every side, and the Federals in their
front, falling upon them with tremendous fury, they were forced back. In
an instant the waiting gunners above sprang to their guns, and poured vol-
ley after volley through their ranks. At the same time the cannons on
their flanks and in their rear opened upon them with terrific effect. The
Virginians staggered, reeled, and fell in heaps on the blood-stained field as
their ranks were cut to pieces in every direction. They have fought nobly,
like true heroes, but they could do no more, and there remained but one
course for the few who were left — to retrace their steps across the valley of
death ! And thus the curtain fell on the disaster of the master-act of the
great Confederate General!
General Lee had watched with the deepest interest the result of the charge
of the brave Virginians, and when he saw it fail he placed his finger on his
lips, and for a moment there came over his noble face a shadow of disap-
pointment — that calm, marble-like face that had never bef n known before,
on any battle field of the war, to show either a sign of disappointment or of
triumph. In that sad moment he must have felt his disappointment bitterly,
for perhaps he may have had a foreboding of that future when the star of
the Confedei-acy should forever set. To an English officer near him, who
had come to witness the battle, he said : " This has been a sad day for us,
Colonel — a sad day ; but we can't always expect to win victories."
But, whatever his thoughts were, the action of the great commander was
truly sublime, for, as he rode toward the front through the broken troops,
rallying them with such cheering words as: "Never mind, we'll talk of
this afterward ; now we want all good men to rally," his face was placid and
cheerful, showing not a sign of annoyance or dismay. Even for the wounded
he had words of kindness, and many of them as they were borne past took
off tlieir hats and cheeivd him. It was a grand, affecting and inspiring
scene to see the implicit faith of those troops in their commander as he
moved among them, and they formed in regiments, and lay down calmly and
quietly in the places assigned them.
Gen. Imboden, one of Lee's staff officers, for whom he had sent, gives us
a touching and pathetic picture of the great Confederate commander as he
saw him soon after midnight, on the night after the battle. When Imboden
reached him he was entirely alone, and had alighted from his horse ; and,
says that officer, " He threw his arms across his saddle to rest himself,
and leaned in silence on his equally weary horse, the two forming a striking
group, as motionless as a statue. The bright moon shone full upon his
massive features and revealed an expression of Sadness I had never seen on
that fine face before, in all the vicissitudes of the war through which he had
passed. I waited for him to speak, until the silence became painful and
embarrassing, when, to break it and change the current of his thoughts, I
remarked in a sympathetic tone : 'General, this has been a hard day on you.'
This attracted his attention. He looked up and replied mournfully : 'Yes,
54 THROUGH WJU TO PEACE.
it has been a sad day for us,' and immediately relapsed into his former mood
After a few moments of silence he turned to Imboden, as he raised him-
self erect, exclaiming excitedly: "General, I never saw troops behave
more magnificently than Pickett's division of Virginians did to-day in their
grand charge upon the enemy. And if they had been supported as they
ought to have been — but for some reason unknown to me they were not —
we would have held the position they so gloriously won, and the day would
have been ours." Then, in a tone of the deepest sorrow, he added: "Too
bad ! too bad ! ! oh, too bad ! ! ! "' What terrible agony he felt at that moment
no words can depict.
With this desperate charge of Pickett's Virginians, really ended the battle,
for althcmgh there was another attempt on the Federal lines, it was feeble
and of little consequence. The loss of the Virginians in this last charge
had been frightful. Their regiments were actually cut to pieces. A ghastly
example was where a regiment entered the charge numbering two hundred
and fifty and returned with but thirty-eight men.
Thus for three weary days was fought, and thus was won, the great battle
of Gettysburg — the most decisive and bloody of all the conflicts of the Civil
War. And through that baptism of blood of the magnificent amphitheatre
at Gettysburg was turned the fortunes of the Confederacy, for although lier
soldiers struggled heroically for two years longer, her star gradually waned
until it set forever on an April day. Gettysburg was not only great, in being
one of the bloody conflicts of the world, but, like Waterloo, it was great in
the greatness of its results. Waterloo decreed a change of dynasties, and
rang the curtain down forever on a great man's colossal ambition ; and
Gettysburg was the death of a nation, the restoration of another, and the
shattering of the chains of four million slaves!
When that last day was done on the battle field, it was literally a baptism
of blood, for its rocks were sprayed with blood, its streams and pools were
crimsoned, and its wheat flelds were beaten into a red mire, while down
the few stalks of grain that were standing trickled tinij globules of blood!
Night closed over the scene, but ere long a full moon arose and slied a
"O'er the welteriug field of tombloas dead."
It was a sad and ghastly scene that the moonbeams fell upon; for as thick
on the field as leaves in autumn lay the mangled bodies of the slain, while
the ground was wet and crimsoned with the blood of 44,567 men who had
fallen dead and wounded in that Cyclopean contest!
THE STRUGGLE WITH DEATH.
<( Q|NTO a ward of the whitewashed halls,
C/ Where the dead and dying lay.
Wounded by bayonets, shells and balls.
Somebody's darling was borne one day.
Somebody wept when he marched away,
Looking so handsome, brave and grand;
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay.
And some one clung to his parting hand."
!>T the open upper wiudow of a house overlooking, and even
above the field of strife, a girl's beautiful, curly head was
leaning on a little dimpled hand, while her arm rested on the
window-sill. Her large, lustrous eyes were eagerly watch-
ing the terrible struggle about Little Eound Top, and as she
rested there it would have required but a single glance of
those who knew her to have recognized in the girl's finely formed bust — as
full and gracefully rounded as a sculptor's model — the demi-figure of Bertha
Merton. Her face was very pale, but very beautiful, for there was a deep,
intellectual interest expressed on it, and a tender sweetness in the large,
liquid eyes, as they drank in a prominent figure, leading amid the thickest
of the fight — that of General Charles Landon. For he had been promoted
to the command of a brigade, a short time before, for gallantry on the field.
It was the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. General Longstreet's
men were making their terrific charge on the Federal position, and the long
lines of men in gray had lapped about Little Eound Top — that steep, rocky
eminence that toweied above the rest — the key of the battle field, which the
Confederates wished to win, and which the Federals were determined not
Around the rocky height, the battle raged wild and furious, the artillery
on its summit poured forth a murderous fire, while behind every ledge and
boulder flashed forth the blaze of musketry. Into this vortex of fire, smoke
and death charged the shadowy lines of men in gray, as if endeavoring to
choke the volcano with human bodies. But the Federals met every advance
of the serried ranks with a heavy fire and a wall of gleaming steel. Amid
the blue lines, where the conflict raged the hottest, rode Charlie Landon.
Upon his pale face there was a calm, determined expression, for his lips
were set, and there was a daring glitter in his dark eyes that showed his
brave, resolute nature.
56 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
Bertha raised the spy glass she held in her hand and swept the field until
its focus rested on Charlie Landon's superb figure, conspicuous amid the
storm of battle by its graceful, commanding appearance. And no wonder
the sight aroused a thrill of admiration in her breast, for his noble bearing,
and his fine form and head, clearly outlined against the fire and smoke,
would have won respect even from a foe.
As she was eagerly watching him he suddenly turned fcis horse so as to
■ almost face her — his coat was wide open, for the heat was intense — when to
her dismay she saw that his white shirt front was half crimson toith his
She lowered the spy glass, and there came a wild, frightened look into
the large, dark eyes, that told of anticipated tragedy. In a moment she
raised ftie small telescope, and gazed eagerly at his figure, like one under
the spell of some weird fascination, while in the velvety depths of her eyes
there remained that haunted look of expected calamity. As she watched
his conspicuous figure amid the battle she saw him reel in the saddle, and
The tragedy she had anticipated had come, and as she dropped the glass
her eyes filled with tears, and the little head fell heavily on her arms, as in
her sorrow she realized how dearly she loved him still.
In a few moments she raised her head, and, brushing away the tears that
were tiickling down her cheeks, sprang quickly to her feet, as she muttered
to herself: "This will not do. I must not give waj' to grief, when perhaps
I might be of assistance to him."
Catching up a buffalo robe that lay on a chair, she threw it over her arm,
and hastened from the house. She walked rapidly forward, and each mo-
ment, as she drew nearer and nearer the battle, she met the soldiers bringing
away the wounded, until those bearing new sufferers became one continuous
stream. And then the roar of the conflict became almost deafening, while
tlie bullets fell thick about her; but heedless and fearless of them, she
hurried onward. At last she saw Ids well known form lying on a litter,
borne by two soldiers ; although he was insensible, he still breathed strong
and regularly. She sprang to the side of the litter, which was a rude wooden
affair, without any padding, or even a covering of cloth.
"Oh !" she exclaimed, as she stood by the litter, "don't those rough slats
"Yes," x'eplied one of the men, "they seemed to hurt him severely, for,
although he is insensible, he groaned several times as we carried him along.
But it was the best we could do."
" But can't we put this buffalo robe under him?" she asked, taking it from
her arm .
" Yes, that is the very thing. It is fortunate that you brought it."
They gently raised him, while Bertha's nimble little hands soon placed
the robe beneath ; and as his bruised body sank on the soft bed, she heard,
or imagined she heard, a sigh of relief issue from his lij<s. As he lay there,
so pale and handsome, on the white rgbe — as yet but slightly stained with
his blood — she, in spite of her sorrow and deep concern, became irresistibly
entranced by the statuesque beauty — yet thrilled with life — of his fine face
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 57
and form. In her artistic nature, she seemed to realize in the beautiful form
before her, how the Greek heroes of old — whom Homer loved to picture —
must have appeared, as they lay on the battle field before Troy. Those
wondrous pictures Homer gives us in the Iliad, of the flower of the youth
of Greece and Troy, lying on the field of battle "in the stately repose of
death," their blood enrichmg in color, by its crimson contrast, their marble
white temples and blood-stained curls of gold. So sublimely beautiful does
Homer paint the ancient youth with their war-stained curls, in the Serene,
pathetic beauty of death, like some exquisite statue, about which the color
of life still lingers, that he fascinates us, and almost wins us to love wounds
and death. And as Charlie lay there among the soft folds of the white robe,
with the form of a Greek hero and the head of an Apollo, the red blood
staining like a wreath of carnation the dark curls that clustered af)out his
wliite brow, while so serene was the expression of his face, so fine and beau-
tiful the blending of the crimson with the dark hair, in the battle-stained
cuils, that it brought no suggestion of horror or distaste to her artistic na-
ture, as she thought, so must have appeared the greatest of the old Greek
heroes, Achilles, as he lay before the ScEean gate of Troy.
She was roused from her reverie by one of the soldiers remarking : "That
robe is the very thing. He rests easily upon it. Which way shall we carry
" To the house yonder," she replied, bursting into tears.
They carried him to the house, and up into the room she had left but a
short time before, and laid him on the bed. Then the men departed, but
one of them soon returned, accompanied by a surgeon. Although the sur-
geon was young in years, he soon showed that he lacked neither skill nor
experience, for he quickly extracted the bullet from the wounded man's
arm, and ligated the severed artery, from which the blood was flowing. He
then turned his attention to the wound in Landon s breast. The bullet had
penetrated painfully near the heart, and as Bertha assisted him to dress the
wound he replied, in answer to her eager question, " It's a very dangerous
wound, and he is very weak from the loss of blood. He must have remained
for some time in the saddle after being struck by the bullets, and all the
while the wounds were bleeding. But while there's life there's hope. But
it will be several days before he regains consciousness."
After he had applied a styptic to the wound and dressed it, he said :
"Here is a prescription; get it filled, and give him some of the medicine as
soon as you can get him to swallow. I suppose the General is your bro-
ther?" he continued.
He did not notice the blush that suffused her tear-stained cheeks, for he
was gazing down .at the wounded soldier ; and without waiting for an answer
he continued, as an excuse for his hurry : " I must leave him now. In all the
battles of the war in which I have been engaged, I have never seen so many
wounded men before. The surgeons are nearly worn out. But my little
lady," he added, kindly, as he saw fresh tears fill her eyes, "keep up a brave
heart, and you may win him back to health again. I will return to assist
you all in my power at the earliest opportunity."
When the surgeon had departed, her overstrung nerves could bear the
58 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE,
tension no longer, and, leaning her head upon her arms, she burst into a
flood of tears. And as she sobbed, she felt the old love for him came back
with treble its former force, as she remembered the happy bygone days they
had spent together. "And oh !" she thought, "if he should die, it would
be the end — the dreadful end of ail my happy dreams ! " After weeping she
felt better, for her trials and sorrows seemed to become dispersed on the
bright wings of Hope. For physiologists tell us that tears are nature's
remedies, which relieve and soothe the nervous system from overpowering
griefs and burdens. After bathing her face, she went to a hospital and ob-
tained the medicine. On her return she occupied herself for some time in
maliing the poor fellow as comfortable as possible, with that tender care
that a woman intuitively knows so well how to do. Then she sat down in a
chair by a window, as she felt unreservedly that it was her duty to nurse
and protect him during his helplessness. Her pride and waywardness had
fled ; she thought only of doing all in her power for him, as she prayed that
God might give her strength to nurse him back to health; and unhesitat-
ingly would she have risked her lite to save his.
What a mystery and seeming contradiction, yet wondrous power is woman.
Place her in a conservatory, foster and indulge her every whim, and she
becomes a thing of fancy, waywardness and frivolity — annoyed by a dew-
drop, fretted by a thorn, ready to faint at the sight of a beetle or a mouse,
and starting back affrighted at the darkness. But let a dire calamity come,
arouse her sympathy and affection, enkindle the fires of her heart, and then
behold the wonderful change ! What a wealth of affection and strength is
in her heart ! Transplant her in a new field, give her a weakly animal or a
child to protect, or, on the field of battle, a wounded soldier to attend and
care for; see her then lift her own white arms as -a shield, heedless of her
once crimson cheeks, that are growing pale as she wears her life away to
aid the helpless. Watch her in the dark places of earth, as she disputes,
step by step, the march of disease, pestilence and death, while others, seem-
ingly stronger and braver, shrink away. Silently, calmly, nobly she meets
misfortune, faces pain and danger — with less timidity than she formerly met
an admiring gaze — and ever with consolation in her heart, and a blessing on
her lips. In the hour of triumph and splendor, she appears a butterfly of
uselessness, but let adversity come, then behold her true worth — a diamond
of the flrst water, freed from the dross ! Thus woman is a wondrous mys-
tery, from whom radiates the charm of the darkest places, as well as the
brightest spots of earth !
As Bertha sat there in the afternoon's waning light, she could not help
watching his handsome face with admiration. And lying there, he really
formed a line picture of manly beauty, his face slightly tui^ied to one side,
and his head reclining lightly on his arm, which was half buried in the
snowy pillow ; his dark hair curling in a profusion of ringlets over his pale
brow, his cheeks plump and white — where not browned by exposure; his
dark brown moustache shading the mouth and dimpled chin with the old,
familiar boyish sweetness about them she remembered so well ; the collar
of his shirt was rolled back, exposing the white, round throat, which arose
gracefully from the firm, square shoulders, almost as plump as those of a
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 59
girl ; his eyes were gently closed, hiding the light in them, which she had
seen so often melt into softness in the presence of those he loved, or glitter
with daring when facing a foe ; he breathed lightly, and seemed to be rest-
ing easily, except for an occasional twinge of the muscles of the neck and
shoulder, which showed that he suffered pain. Altogether, viewed in the
afternoon's sunlight, it was a face few could look upon and not admire and
trust. And there came into her heart an irresistible longing to possess a
picture of that noble face she loved so dearly, for she felt it would lighten
her sorrow to still retain the image of his face, although he should betaken
from her forever. She brought the best sketching material she could find,
and went quietly and eagerly to work, and although she had done no artistic
work since leaving St. Arlyle, she found she was as skillful as ever with the
pencil and brush. Seated by a small table in the waning light of that sultry
July afternoon, with the battle raging so near that the smoke and roar of
the canncm rolled into the room, while the concussion of the great guns
shook the house, she applied herself diligently in making a drawing of the
face she cherished so dearly and feared she might lose forever.
As she drew the outlines of his face, all the old love welled up in her
heart, and as she gazed with inexpressible pity and emotion upon him, there
came over her a sudden irresistible. impulse, and, walking to the bed, she
knelt by his side and dropped a kiss upon his lips, as silently and lightly as
a dew-drop falls, as she murmured : "Oh ! my poor boy ! My poor boy !"
She drew back, almost aiJrighted, as her face grew crimson and hot with
shame, for she thought she saw his eyes partly open and his lips move.
But this must have been a momentary delusion, caused bj' her agitation, for
when she looked again he still lay in the same unconscious state.
Thus during the afternoon, when not attending to the wounded soldier,
she occupied herself at her drawing. Night came, and with it the close of
the second day of the battle, and her portrait was nearly finished.
It was almost noon the next day before she was able to resume her draw-
ing. The last s<:)unds of the conflict had died away early in the morning,
and the warm sultry air swept into the room amid a deep silence, only
broken by the noise of her brash or pencil on the canvas. But it was the
calm soon to be broken by that memorable storm of destruction of the 3d
of July, that through all the after years of her life she never could forget.
The little clock on the shelf had almost marked the hour of one, when
there came a terrific roar from the Confederate guns that shook the house.
For nearly fifteen minutes they roared away without a reply. Theu came
the Federal answer, all alone their line, from the mouths of almost 300 can-
non. The roar of the artillery was fearful ; the house shook and rocked
till it seemed to her like a ship in a gale ; the window panes were shattered
to fragments and the glass strewn on the floor ; the table before her seemed
to dance, while her hand seemed to beat about on the canvas. She could
not remain quiet, but rushed repeatedly to the window and gazed out ; she
could see nothing but the thick clouds of sulphurous smoke, amid which
flashed the flames from the cannons' mouths. From the window she re-
peatedly went to the wounded soldier's side and gazed at his face, but he
always lay in the same trance-like sleep — unconscious of it all. Thus for
60 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
two hours raged the terrible storm of human wrath ; then came a lull in
the mighty cannonade. Then she watched eagei'ly and excitedly the last
desperate struggle for victory between the opposing infantry, as Pir.kett's
Virginians charged fiercely and stubbornly up the hill amid the storm of
bullets and balls, while the smoke hung about their partly hidden ranks, like
banks of mist. Thus the afternoon wore away, and the sun sank lower and
lower, till it appeared a great fiery ball in the west ; then she saw the Con-
federates fall back in wild confusion, and she knew their charge had failed,
and that thg great battle of Gettysburg was ended !
Ske sat in silence by the window till the last beams of day faded, and the
flashes and reports of the pickets-' muskets grew less and less frequent, till
at last thej' became silent in the gathering gloom ; then, as the sentinel
stars began to fill the sky, there came into her heart a feeling of sadness
— a feeling of impending grief and pain, hanging over her like a black pall !
Can it be possible that in the hidden and mysterious workings of the mind,
there came to her a premonition of the loss and sorrow the darkness was
bringing? For that night, on the battle field, she lost forever, b ■ a picket's
random shot, one of the dearest and truest friends of her girlhood, although
she did not learn of it until long afterward.
Throughout the mighty roar of the. battle, and for weeks after, Charlie
Landon remained unconscious. For consciousness had entirely left him
from the moment he fell from his horse, while resisting at the head of his
men the fierce charge of the Confederate infantry. He felt the sharp sting
of the bullet'wounds in his arm and breast, but, heedless of them, he rode
onward, until from the loss of blood he grew suddenly faint, and there
seemed to dart through his brain a thousand flashes of light, mingled with
a terrible roar, while the sun grew suddenlj' dark, and he seemed to be fall-
ing into an immense black gulf ; and then consciousness left him. The first
faint revival of feeling was followed by a succession of dreams of the wild-
est imaginable sufferings. He was crushed beneath the wheels of the
wheels of the Juggernaut car. He was stretched on the bed of Piocrustes,
while the inhuman Damaster hacked and pulled his limbs asunder. He was
Tantalus, in water up to his chin, yet unable to quench his burning thirst.
He was Tityus, chained to a rock, while the vultures were constantly gnaw-
ing at his vitals. Then came a delightful change in his visions. An angelic
face hovered above him, while soft, gentle hands cooled his parched lips
and bathed his burning brow. And oh ! how sweet and delicious it all
was! Then the old horrors would return, but ere long the same sweet,
sympathetic face would float above him, and the same gentle hands, wfth ice
cold water, would quench his burning thirst and cool his aching brow. Once
he thought the beautiful face bent down and kissed him tenderly. And then
he thought how much its features resembled Bertha's lovely face.
At last, one day toward the close of August, he awoke perfectly rational.
It was an exquisite summer afternoon, and the balmy air swept into the
room, laden with the redolence of tree and flower, and he lay in the large,
cool, airy apartment with a delicious feeling of pleasure and rest. As he
turned his head on the pillow he made a slight noise. Instantly a girlish
figure reading near the window glanced toward the bed, and then glided
THROUGH W\4R TO PEACE. 61
from the room. But not before he had recognized the beautiful face Of
Bertha, the same sweet, pitying face that he had seen in all his dreams.
From that day his recovery was rapid. But he did not see again the face
he most wished to look upon with the deepest yearnings of his heart. And
his first inquiry, when he was able to be about the room, was for her. They
informed hiiu that she had sailed from New York for Rome, there to study
paintmg for the next two years. It was a bitter disappointment to him,
but he bore it bravely. The first day he was able to walk about the room,
he found lying on the table a dainty blue gold-banded cap that he had often
seen Bertha wear. It had been presented to her by the wounded soldiers of
a Fredericksburg hospital, during their convalescence, as a tribute of their
gratitude for her many deeds of kindness to them. He took up the cap
almost reverentially, and placed it in the breast pocket of his coat, as he
thought it was the last memento of the girl he still truly and tenderly loved,
and who in his helplessness had with her own hands guarded him from
death. And he felt how readily, yea, gladly, would he give the life she had
saved to prove his gratitude and love for her. "But alas !'' he thought sadly,
"we may never meet again, but I shall love her truly as long as life remains.
May Heaven protect her, and shower its brightest blessings on her curly
When he had gained sufificient strength he joined his brigade again, and
followed Ihe fortunes of the Army of the Potomac to the close of the war.
AT REST IN HEAVEN.
Virtus requiei nescia sordidce.
JtOR none return from those quiet shores
ci Who cross with the boatman cold and pale;
We hear the dip of the golden oars.
And catch a gleam of the snowy sail ;
And lo 1 they have passed from our yearning hearts.
— IV. A. Priest.
■pT was the evening of the close of the great Battle of Gettysburg;
the dim twilight was fast fading into night, and through the
gathering mist that was steadily enveloping the battle field, the
early stars twinkled with an uncertain light. The main bodies
of the great opposing armies had fallen back to their camping
grounds, and already their camp-fires were casting shifting and
fantastic flashes of light and shadow on the banks of mist and the adjoining
trees. The advanced pickets of the contending forces — who were not more
than three-quarters of a mile apart — kept up a desultory tire at each other,
as the red flashes darting through the mist, followed by the whiz of bullets,
Colonel Edward Wilberton was riding along the Confederate picket line,
when in the gathering gloom he suddenly thought he saw a familiar figure
near him, and, turning his horse, he rode toward it. He was not mistaken,
for it was his wife. May, who had just arisen from dressing a soldier's wound
and giving him a drink of spirits. As her husband approached her he cried
excitedly, as he heard a bullet hum past his head :
" Ma}', for Heaven's sake go back ! This is no place for you. You are
recklessly risking your life !"
" But what will become of this wounded man?" asked the noble girl.
"I will send an ambulance to remove him," he answered, as he sprang
from his horse. And as hurried toward her, he exclaimed excitedly : "Hurry,
iviay ! You must not stay here ! I will go with you, but for my sake be
quick ! It is dangerous, my darling !"
The words had scarcelj' left his lips, when she was struck full in the left
breast by a bullet. But before she fell he caught her in his arms, as he
cried: "Oh my darling!"
He pillowed her head on his breast, just as the warm blood spurted over
her dress, staining it a crimson hue. He hastily tore open the bosom of her
THROUGH IVJR TO PEACE. 63
dress, and endeavored to staunch the flow with his handl^erchief, but in
vain. It poured forth, deluging the snowy breasts and crimsoning the golden
hair, that had fallen over her shoulders.
"Oh my darling! you are dying!" he cried in agony.
" Don't feel so bad, Edward dear, cried the noble girl. "I'm in God's
hands and "
Her head fell against his shoulder, and the words died on her lips. He
placed his canteen to her lips, and after a few sips she rallied, and throwing
her arm around his neck, rested calmly in his encircling arms. For often, on
the battle field, the wound that is mortal is painless, and so hers seemed to
be, for after a moment she raised her blue eyes, and looking into his face
with all a woman's tender trust, said :
"Don't cry, Edward. I'm not suffering. And above all are God's ever-
After a moment's silence she continued : " I want you to tell Bertha when
you see her, that my last moments were peaceful and happJ^ And tell her
to crush back her pride and to be true to her own heart's love, and Heaven
will bless her."
She grew rapidly weaker, as she said, with a struggle: "Good bye, my
boy. Don't feel so bad. We've had a happy life together. It seems hard
to go. Yet God's will be done. I shall surely meet you on the shining shore
of peace. Farewell!"
"Oh, my darling May," he cried, as her arm tightened convulsively and
passionately around his neck, and her eyes eagerly sought his, with a last,
wild, loving glance. Then the little hand relaxed its grasp on his neck, and
the snowj' eyelids drooped forever over the sweet blue eyes. He bent his
head quickly and kissed the red lips, as with her parting breath a heavenly
smile flitted over them, then as his head sank on her breast, he felt the
last throb of ner heart, and he knew that her rosy lips would never smile
upon him again, and that her sweet blue eyes would never greet him more !
The mist had melted away, and the last rays of twilight fell full upon her
dainty, drooping form, yet beautiful, even in death, and seemingly clinging
to him, just as she had clung with her last parting strength ; while he still
cla'^ped her form with all the tenderness of his dei p love ! Thus solemnly
the last light faded and night enveloped the Pennsylvania hills — and dark and
gloomy it fell upon him. In that long, sorrowful night that closed around
him, sprang forth the shadowy spectres of sweet memories, hopes and affec-
tions that haunted him but to remind him that they were dead ; yet at first
he did not fully realize his loss. It came upon him by degrees, with a feeling
of desolation — like one alone on a rocky isle — that his first love, and that his
brightest hopes, dreams and wishes were shattered forever ! The night wore
on, and the full moon shed its light over the field, but still he remained,
grasping the beloved form, motionless, dazed and bewildered, like one in a
dream. The clear, silvery moonlight fell full upon her form, where yet lin-
gered the wondrous beauty of her slender, rounded figure, with the long, light
colored hair, the beautiful white face, as finely moulded as that of a statue,
the snowy eyelids fringed by the long dark lashes, the fine cut lips, as ten-
derly wreathed in a smile as if yet animated with life, the throat and sheul-
64 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
ders round and white, and the snowy breasts beautifully carved and unmarred
in their whiteness, except for the small red wound, which showed where the
tide of life had ebbed away. Thus unchanged,
" Death lay on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field."
Long after midnight they found him, still clinging to her dead form. They
bore her body into camp, and he followed, like one in a trance. The next
day he had her body sent away to be buried in the St. Arlyle graveyard.
Then with a broken and bruised heart he joined his regiment again, and
fought through the war to the bitter end. No wonder those few Southern
soldiers remaining toward the close of the war resisted so stubbornly and
desperately though they knew their cause was hopeless, for by the loss of their
homes, firesides, and — like Edward Wilberton — those they had loved as dearly
as their own lives, they grew fearless and reckless, till even death itself
had no terrors for them 1
NEARING THE END.
<<JJ<|IGHT closed around the conqueror's way,
^*' And lightning showed the distant hills.
Where those who lost that dreadful day
Stood few and faint, but fearless still."
E new come to the closing scenes of the Civil War. The
days of the last conflicts around Richmond, on old Vir-
ginia's blood-stained soil. General Grant's immense army
had been pouring, day and night, for weeks, a heavy fire
with mortar, cannon and musket upon the Confederate
lines in front of Petersburg. When a Federal fell he was replaced by a re-
cruit. But when a Confederate was killed his place remained vacant.
Death, disease and desertion had so reduced Lee's army in those last days in
March, 1865, that he did not have one man to every ten feet of fortificatityi.
Starvation stared them in the face, like a hungry woif, for unbolted corn
and black molasses were their only rations, and even these were dealt out to
them in meager quantities, while their clothing was in rags, and hundreds
of them were almost barefooted. Grant's great army gave them no rest,
and men who fought all day to save one point weie marched all night to be
ready to save another. Tired and worn out. the Confederate soldiers fell
asleep but to be awakened by the bursting of shells in their midst, or by
the fierce attack of their assailants. During their last long defense of Pet-
ersburg and Richmond, when it must have been as apparent to all that their
cause was hopeless as it was to Lee himself, they struggled on through a
sea of troubles and hardships with a patriotism and devotion that the world
must ever acknowledge was truly heroic.
Meanwhile, every day Grant's great army was extending its lines and en-
circling them like an immense boa constrictor. And in the grimness of
despair the Confederate chieftain resolved to make a daring and desperate
eilort to pierce the mighty FeJ.eral army that was crushing him in its folds.
This daring venture was an attempt to penetrate and cut the mighty Fed-
eral army through its center. The plan was to attack Fort Steadman
(one of Grant's strongest and most advanced forts) at night, and also
the three other forts commanding it; then, after capturing them, to push
forward and fall upon the rear of the National army. By thus surprising the
great army at night it would give the Confederates a chance of success. And
66 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
if the forts were captured the Federal army would be cut in two, and thrown
A few minutes before midnight, on the 25th of March, the Confederates
silently assembled at their salient point, in front of the fort, to be ready
to rush upon it. Every man was prepared and knew the work before him.
The open space over which they must rush could be swept by over thirty
Federal cannon and more than five thousand muskets. Every detail had
been planned, and the last preparation was for each Confederate to tie a white
cloth around his arm, so that he could be recognized l)y his comrades in the
First rushed across tho open space about two hundred men, armed with
axes, who in five minutes cut down the abatis in front of the fort. Had
these men attempted to cross the space by daylight not one of them would
have lived two minutes. Following these men came the stormmg columns
of infantry, who, after capturing the pickets, swarmed into the fort. So
surprised were the Federals in the fort that they offered no resistance, for
when they sprang to their feet they were confronted by Confederate bayo-
nets. After capturing the fort the attacking columns pressed forwai-d, but
in the darkness the guides became confused, and the men were unable to
find the works that commanded Fort Steadman, and with breaking of day
the Confederates were compelled to retreat to the captured works, and General
Gordon, who had directed the assault, made preparations to hold the fort.
The moment daylight broke the Federal artillerymen sighted their guns
on the fort, while at the same time the Confederates trained their heavy
guns to reply, and for over an hour a terrific artillery contest was main-
tained. Round shot, shell and grape fell so rapidly into the fort that soon
every gun in it was silenced, and the ground inside was covered with dead
and wounded. But still the Confederates clung to the fort, and although
the Federals made three charges upon it, they were i-eceived with such a
heavy musketry fire that they were compelled to fail back. But gradually
the mighty Federal army drew closer and closer, and finally an entire corps
prepared to assault the fort. There now only remained for the Confederates
in the fort either to await capture or to retreat across the narrow open space,
swept by the National artillery and musketry.
Hundreds of Confederates attempted to escape by rushing across the open
space to their own lines. They started singly, and in numbers, but however
they started the result was the same ; they were mowed down by the storm of
bullets. Men who started alone would be struck by a dozen bullets. And
out of squads of thirty or forty who started to cross the vale of death, but
two or three would escape. Thus for over an hour they endeavored to escape,
till the open space was literally covered with the dead. These retreats grad-
ually weakened the force in the fort, and it was finally carried by a Federal
General Lee had staked all in this last desperate venture and lost, and
that night his force was weaker by fifteen hundred men. The cloud that
had ever hung over the stormy events of the Confederacy, often growmg
bright in the early days of the war, but to suddenly grow dark at Gettys-
burg, and again on the battle field of the Wilderness, had now grown blacker
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 67
and more threatening, till its heavy sliadow toid unmistaliably of the im-
pending end !
* * * * ;S
In this battle fell several of St. Arlyle's men, and among them Bertha
lost, that night, one of the truest and best friends of her girlhood, noble
Dr. Granville. In exposing himself, with his accustomed bravery, wherever
the cause of suffering humanity led, he sprailg conspffcuously on one of the
redoubts to rescue a wounded soldier. A perfect storm of bullets fell around
him, and it was the last time many of the men ever saw his statelj' and well
known form, for he was struck full in the breast by a bullet from a sharp-
shooter's rifle, and fell mortally wounded into the arms of an officer of the
St. Arlyle regiment, who with the assistance of others bore him to the rear.
They soon found a surgeon, who, after dressing the wound, recognized
In his patient a former friend, whom he had not seen for years. As their
eyes met the former exclaimed :
" Why, it is Benjamin Granville ! Do you remember me?"
" Yes, very well," replied Dr. Granville.
" I once did you a great injury, long years ago, and I have been sorry for
it many times since. Can you forgive me?" said the surgeon.
"Yes," replied Dr. Granville, "for I forgave you many years ago. You
know Bacon says, 'He that cannot forgive others, breaks down the bridge
over which he must pass himself.' And one of the noblest lessons I've
learned in life is to forgive, and, as far as the heart can, to forget, so that
through the march of years my heart has grown lighter and more peaceful
as I descend life's rugged pathway. Thus it becomes the calmest and
happiest, just before the tomb, like a flower of spring time, the brightest
before it fades. '
"What do you think of ray case?" Dr. Granville asked suddenly.
" It is a very dangerous wound," replied the old surgeon, as he shook his
"Yes, as a surgeon, I understand it full well,'' said Dr. Granville. "The
wound is mortal. I had hoped to live to see peace again. But I submit to
a higher will than mine. It was my greatest wish to see my country again
at peace. For I think the Republic's grandest glory is just beginning to
dawn through the vista of coming years. For the brightest years and noblest
are often those after emerging from the gloom of strife and care, like the
bright sunshine that bursts at last through a stormy sky, flooding all around.
And I still believe a republic is the true form of government, for it is based
on the principles of equal rights to all, equal on earth, as they will be in
Heaven, rewarded when they do right, punished when they do wrong."
At that moment one of Dr. Granville's friends approached his bed and
"Oh, I am so sorry your case is hopeless !"
"No, not hopeless," said the noble man, "for I still have Heaven. And
there is nothing so sweet in life as going home to Heaven. Tired with the
struggles of earth, we lay down the burden at last, for the eternal rest.
For God has said, ' Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown
6S THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
He lingered on in pain until evening, but no word of complaint or moan
escaped his lips, lest those around him In the hospital tent, less dangerously
"wounded than himself, should hear it and feel discouraged. As the darkness
closed around and the "cease firing" was sounded through the Federal lines,
a smile stole over his face, and those who were beside his bed knelt down to
catch his dying words. They were of the happy, peaceful years passed in
the little village of Str Arlyle, and in his thoughts he was again in the col-
lege class room, once more instructing the students, now scattered over the
wide world, for, stretching forth his hand, he said : "It grows dark, stu-
dents, you may go ! But the glorious light is bursting on the other shore !"
Then he turned his head wearily on the pillow, and the "light of immortal
beauty silently covered his face," as Benjamin Granville yielded up his noble
and loving soul to the God who gave it. His grave is in the little church
yard in St. Arlyle, and over it stands a marble monument, but his greatest
tomb is in the hearts of the men and women who loved him too truly ever
to need a marble shaft to remind them of the noble, generous man !
Bertha read of his death in Rome, in an article in an American journal,
entitled "A Great Loss to Science." And tears tilled her eyes as she real-
ized that in his death she had lost another of the trut.'st and noblest friends
of her girlhood's years. And as she sat in the waning light by the window
overlooking the waters of the Tiber there arose through the mist of her
tears a sea ot familiar faces, all victims of the terrible Civil War, and each
intimately linked with her own life, some cherished, others dearly beloved.
One of them was that of a dark-haired boy, who fell in the early days of
the war, on the picket line along the Potomac River, with a bullet through
his brave young Irish heart. She remembered well, when they bore him
into camp, with the night dew still fresh on his young, pale face, and buried
him in a soldier's grave, with a wreath on his breast — a tribute from her
And another — a man's face, who i-eceived his mortal wound on the battle
field of Chancellorsville ; one who had been wild and wayward, and at times
even wicked, but who, ere his heart was stilled forever, had found the
perfect faith and peace.
And still another — a sweet, girlish face, with bright blue eyes and sunny
hair, who died with a bullet through her pure young heart, on the field of
Gettysburg. "Ah my darling May," Bertha murmured, "how little did I
think when we wandered together through the shady lanes and over the
green meadows of St. Arlj'le, and past the little church yard, that you would
meet your death on the field of battle, and that your final resting place
would so soon be there. Sweet, calm and pale your face must have appeared
when you met the end, with kind thoughts and wishes for others, even in
the throes of death, like that noble man's face, peaceful and calm, for he
feared not death. So will your faces appear on the shore of the great Here-
after, if I am permitted to see them there, only far nobler yet, with the halo
of immprtal beauty around your heads !"
THE DAWN OF PEACE.
BEAUTEOUS peace I
Sweet union of a state! what else but thou
Gives safety, strength, and glory to a people?
N all human events, at some period the curtain falls, and the
plaj' is over ; so we novv come to the last act in the bloody,
drama of the great Oivil War. Even the Confederates knew
the end was coming fast. For the shadows were already
gathering darkly that were soon to envelop the last faint
ray of hope ! The shattered Army of Northern Virginia,
now reduced to less than eight thousand men, had fallen back to the little
town of Appomattox. The Confederate troops were almost in a hopeless
condition, their strong works in front of Fredericksburg captured, their
lines of retreat and communication severed by their being driven upon the
peninsula formed by the James and Appomattox rivers, while in their front
the great Federal army was closing upon them in the form of a mighty
semicircle, yet, in the grimness of despair, that fragment of the once proud
Army of Northern Virginia, like a dying lion at bay, still now and then
makes the foe feel the sharp sting of its claws, and still tosses its royal head
It was scarcely daylight on the morning of the 9th of April — the day that
is to decide the fate of Lee's army — but already the roar of the cannon an-
nounces that the battle has begun. As the sun mounts higher the roar of
the guns grows louder, and the battle becomes more and more general.
And as the serried ranks of the great semicircle approach the Confederates,
70 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
they catch in the distance, through the trees and undp'-brush, an occasiorval
glimpse of Sheridan's cavalrymen as they close upon the foe ! But the
Confederates attack the cavalry savagely, and as they drive it back, a cheer
bursts from their ranks, but in a few minutes more their exultation is
changed to despair, for they see that the cavalry is but falling back upon the
heavy masses of infantry and artillery that form the mighty semicircle that
is advancing to envelop them like the irresistible hand of Fate ! Rapidly
the Federal troops dash over swamp and stream, with the wildest excite-
ment, for they know that unless the enemy can break through their lines
within fifteen minutes all is over with the Army of Northern Virginia. As
the great semicircle closes about the Confederates, the battle rages all along
the line, while the sky becomes ablaze with flame, as the cannons and
mort irs hurl forth their shot and shell !
Suddenly two horsemen gallop out from the Confederate line, and one of
them waves a flag of truce, while the other — heedless of the storm of bullets
and balls^ — rides rapidly across the open space, and, as he gracefully salutes
the Federal commander, he says :
"Sir, General Longstreet desires a cessation of hostilities until he oan
hear from General Lee, as to a proposal of surrender."
Immediately the fire slackens on both sides, and in a few moments more
the order is sounded along the Federal line to "cease firing" and to halt.
The die is cast! The end has come!
A truce is agreed upon until four o'clock in the afternoon. Four o'clock
comes, but no word is heard from either of the great commanders, and there
is no alternative left but to renew the battle, as the order is issued along
the Federal lines : " Prepare to make or receive an attack in ten minutes.''
The ten minutes elapse, and the Federal skirmishers are pressing forward,
when suddenly comes the order to halt, and with it the information that
Lee lias surrendered. Instantly the Federal lines are broken, and cheer
after cheer rends the air until late in the night.
Early in the afternoon of that day — the 9th of April, 1865 — an officer,
accompanied by but a single aid, rode out of the Confederate camp toward
the Federal lines. He was mounted on a powerful gray horse, and wore a
spotless gray uniform, that fitted his large and finely moulded figure to per-
fection, while on the collar of his coat glittered the stars of the highest rank
of the Confederate Army. There was a natural dignity and modest reserve,
blended with a singular, calm gentleness about his every action that would
win from the most casual observer respect, even admiration. His hair was
as white as the driven ^suow, his face was very pale, and there was a deep
expression of sadness upon it, yet blended with a rare charm of sweetness
and intelligence; his brow, thoughtful and grave, was tinged with the
shadows of care and sorrow, while his bright eyes lighted up his face with
a singular fascination one could not soon forget; but that which would have
most attracted one's attention was the calm expression of power and deter-
mination, so indelibly imprinted there that it seemed nothing in life could
shake. Altogether it was an intellectual, face of a man of rare, magnetic,
commanding power and penetrating judgment.
As he approached a Confederate outpost, the soldiers saluted, and the
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 71
officer bowed with a cold smile that rendered his face even more sad. When
he had passed, one of the soldiers exclaimed : " It is General Lee, going to
surrender the army !"
"Yes," replied another, "and I tell j'ou it's a hard duty for him to per-
On reaching the house where the terms of surrender were to be arranged.
General Lee and his aid, Colonel Marshall, dismounted and entered a small
room in the left corner. It was an old styled, double house, with a piazza
extending across the front, and was known as the McLean house. In the
small room where the interview took place were gathered several offi-
cers, and among them were two young men seated at a table, reducing
to writing the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to
the Army of the Potomac. One of the young men. Colonel Marshall — a
great-grandson of Chief Justice Marshall — was acting on behalf of General
Lee ; the other, a man with a dusky countenance — a grand-nephew of the
celebrated Indian chief, Red Jacket — was acting under Ulysses S. Grant.
At a short distance apart, and facing each other, sat two remarkable men ;
remarkable for having been the chief actors in the great Civil War. The
larger and elder of the two was the more impressive in his appearance. His
face pale and massive — seemingly with an expression of calm indifference
upon it — was surrounded by a mass of snow white hair. There was not a
spot upon his bright gray uniform, and the gauntlets which he wore were
as white and unsullied as a lady's glove. He was fully equipped with
sword, belt and sash. That was General R. E. Lee. The other was a
smaller man, with a remarkably determined face, but on which there was
now a peculiar expression, like that on a man's countenance who is endeav-
oring not to give jjain, but seems at a loss how to avoid it. In his dress he
contrasted stronglj' with Lee; his boots were almost covered with mud, his
uniform, the coat of which was minus several buttons, was splashed with
spots of earth, and he wore no sword, belt or sash. All together, he looked
like a soldier who had just returned from a lough campaign. That was
Ulysses S. Grant, the victor.
The greeting between the two commanders, though short, was courteous,
even kind, and they immediately proceeded to business. It was a great
and thrilling occasion, and wonderful memories must have crowded upon
those two men as they sat face to face. Memories that must have thrilled
their hearts as their thoughts wandered back to those stirring scenes during
those four years of Civil War, when brothers' swords were wet with
brothers' blood, and in which they had been the leading actors on the op-
posing sides. And now at last the end had come, and they had met together
to sheath their swords in peace and drop the curtain forever on one of the
most remarkable and bloody dramas of the Nineteenth Century !
In that little room there fell a death-like silence, broken only by the
scratch of the secretaries' pens upon the paper, for all felt the overpowering
inllueuce of the great scene they were witnessing. The silence was so deep
and continuous that at last it became embarrassing, and, to break the spell,
General Grant said, apologetically, a&t he noticed the fully equipped and
7^ THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
faultlpss appearance of Lee, contrasting vividly with liis own negligent dress
and absence of arms :
"General Lee, I have no sword; I have been riding all night. I do not
always carry a sword, because a sword is sometimes a very inconvenient
Lee made no reply, but in a formal, almost haughty manner, bowed with
a grace and pride that after all became him so well. Again the silence fell,
seemingly deeper and more embarrassing than before. When again, to
relieve the awkwardness of the occasion. General Grant asked :
" General Lee, what became of the white horse you rode in Mexico? He
might not be dead yet; he was not so old."
Lee bowed in the same formal manner, as he replied :
'I left him at the White house, on the Pamunky river, and I have not
seen him since."
At last the secretaries had reduced to writing the terms of the surrender,
when the two commanders signed the instruments, after which there was a
whispered conversation between Grant and Lee, which no one else but the
two great chieftains heard. Then General Lee arose in that stately pride
that seemed a part of the man, and bowed separately to each officer on the
Federal side. Then, turning, he left the room, and striding down the gar-
den in front of the house, bestrode the gray horse that had carried him
through all the Virginia campaigns, and rode away.
When Lee had left the room, Grant called his officers about him, and then
they learned the import of the whispered conversation, as the Federal chief-
tain said :
"General Lee's army is on the point of starvation, and we must assist
them all we can. You," he said, naming an officer, "go to the Fifth Corps,
and you to the Twenty-foui-th," thus naming every corps, "and ask every
man who has three rations to turn over two to the Confederates. Go to the
coinraissaries and the quarterniasters, and tell them to send all the food they
The orders were quiekly obeyed, and before night '25,000 rations were
carried to the Army of Northern Virginia.
As General Lee rode slowly back in silence, there gradually mingled with
the deep sadness on his face a far-away expression, as if his thoughts were
wandering to other scenes in that bloody droma, in which he had acted such
a prominent part, and no words can express the humiliation that proud
nature must have felt, as he met face to face the bitter end of all his hopes.
When early in the afternoon Lee had been seen riding toward the McLean
house, the rumor of the surrender flew rapidly through the Confederate
camp. And when, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, he was seen slowly and
thoughtfully riding back, it was known that the terms of sui render had
been completed. Beaching his headquarters, he called his officers about
him and explained to them the terms of the surrender. On hearing them
they expressed their entii'e satisfaction at his course. The lines of battle,
which had been drawn up awaiting a possible renewal of the conflict, were
then broken, and eagerly the men crowded around their chief to clasp his
hand. It was a touching scene, as they crowded around their old com-
THROUGH WAR TO RE ACE. 73
mandcr — uuder whom they had fought on many a bloody field for four long
years — and expressed their love and confidence in him still. Many of their
eyes were moist as they shook his hand and felt they were parting forever
from their beloved chieftain. Sad indeed it was for those proud men, to
hear that they could do no more, but furl their colors forever and go back to
their shattered homes again ; but in their simple words and actions there
was something grand and noble, and their commander felt that there was
no need of words of explanation, or vain regrets to such heroic men, as he
said tiimplj', while over his face came almost a womanly tenderness :
" Men, we have fought through the war together, and I have done the best
I could for you."
* * * , * «
On the 12th of April the Army of Northern Virginia had its last review,
and as early as five o'clock on that morning a Federal division, under Gen-
eral Chamberlain, was formed in line of battle to receive the surrender of
the arms and colors of the Confederates. The Federal line was nearly a
mile in length, extending from the river bank along the streets of the village,
almost to the court house. As they stood there they saw, through the
morning mist, the Confederates breaking camp, and then slowly and reluc-
tantly forming ranks for the last time. Then the Southern men wheeled
into column of march and moved forward, with their battle flags, the stars
and bars, flying. Fiist came General Gordon, with Stonewall Jackson's
corps, then Longstreet's corps, commanded by Heath. As the head of the
Confederate column arrived opposite the Federal right, the bugle sounded,
and the National troops presented arms, while their officers saluted. The
Confederate commander. General Gordon, noticing this courteous recogni-
tion, also brought his men to a present and saluted with his sword. Then
the Confederates wheeled into line of battle, and the two former contending
armies i^tood facing each other in y)eace for the first time and the last!
Amid not the sound of a trumpet, nor the roll of a drum, but in a still-
ness as if the dead were passing there, the Southern soldiers stepped forward
in squads and stacked their arms and took off their cartridge boxes and
placed them in heaps. And last of all, thej' furled their battle flags, and as
they laid them in the dust — the colors they had risked their lives so often to
defend — they knelt down and kissed them, while their eyes filled with burn-
ing tears. It was a touching scene, and many a heart was full, even on
the Federal side. Then only the stars and stripes waved over the field.
Thus throughout the day the men of division after division marched forward
and surrendered their arms, then after they had given their word of honor
never to take up arms against their counlry again, they were set at liberty.
Meanwhile, during that entire day not a cheer, not a taunt, not even a whis-
pered boast of vain glory escaped from a single Federal soldier. For there
came over the victors a tender feeling of almost brotherly friendship for
their former foes, as they felt they were fellow soldiers and fellow coun-
trymen at last!
In this last closing scene General Grant was not present, and with a ten-
derness that will ever be remembered by those vanquished men, he spared
everything in his power that would wouuil their feelings, or that tended to
7Jf THROUGH JFJE TO FEACE.
imply the humiliation of a conquered foe. But, on the contrary, he received
the surrender of the Southern men with a kind recognition that they were
soon to be friends and countrymen again. Nor did General Grant's magna-
nimity end here, for he insisted that the private property of the Confederates
should be respected, though the public property of the Southern army should
be surrendered. And when asked if they should surrender their horses, he
answered, "No, tell them to keep them; they will need them to plow their
The Confederates, after having surrendered their arms and accoutrements,
and taking the oath of allegiance, were allowed to roam at will. Then fol-
lowed a remarkable scene, rarely if ever witnessed in the world's history
before, victor and vanquished mingled in one great fraternal friendship,
while the Federals divided with them their food, tobacco, otc. It was truly
a wonderful scene of forgiving and foi'getting.
There was one knot of soldiers collected near the right of the field, who
would have especially attracted one's attention by their unusual jollity and
good fellowship. And it needed but a single glance of the beholder to tell
that they were former members of the Vandal Club. Some were in blue
uniforms, others in gray, but national differences had no effect on their
hilarity and friendship. In their midst stood Tom Gleaton, distributing the
food in his knapsack, and at the same time discussing the edible qualities
of sawdust pudding.
"Well,'" said a Vandal in gray, in answer to a question from Gleaton, "you
know for the last two months we've been pretty hard up for food, in" fact,
we haven't had any at all. And the pangs of starvation have a very trying
effect on a fellow's ingenuity, so when we came to an ©Id saw mill, we re-
solved to make some .-awdust pudding. We got some sawdust, stirred it
up with water, put in some sugar, and baked it over a camp fire."
'.'Well, how did it eat?" asked Gleaton.
"It was a pretty tough dose. Little better than leather soup, but still it
was better than nothing !"
At this moment the little group was joined by General Landon, who, alter
he had shaken hands with the Vandals in gray, distributed the food in his
email bag among them, which was eagerly devoured.
"But," said Landon, in answer to their complaints, "didn't you have any
"Oh, once in a while we killed a mule, and I tell you it is wonderful how
such small bits of meat stood so much chewing!"
At this juncture the men in gray were joined by a terrible hungry looking
African, who, attracted by General Landon's bright shoulder straps, poked
a Vandal in the back and whispered in his ear :
"Ax de General if he has food of any description 'bout his pusson."
"Hush up. Sambo," replied the Vandal, "do you think the General's a
•• But he mought have a little extra bacon?" suggested the darkey.
"Hush up," said another Vandal, "you're always hungry."
The negro's pantomimic motions had not escaped Gleaton's observation,
who said to Landon, "he's a terrible hungry looking African. The personi-
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 75
fication of starvation. I'can tell by the drop of his under jaw."
" How about the size of his mouth?'' suggested Landon.
*'A fine opening for provisions."
General Landon had sent for a quantity of food, which now arrived, and
the negro eagerly stepped forward to participate in the feast.
"Hold on," said Landon, with a merry twinkle in his eye, " youn; an
enemy, and it's against the laws of war to feed an enemy."
" I wuz, Massa General, but golly, I'ze loyal 'nough now."
" Well then, we'll have to feed you."
Ami soon the negro was devouring the food with great gusto, as he
rolled the whites of his eyes about.
A Vandal in gray was cutting the rind off some bacon, when a pompous
officer of the commissary general's staff passing exclaimed: "Young ujan,
it has been customary heretofore to eat bacon rind and all."
"All right, old man," replied the Vandal, amid a roar of laughter, "I'm
cutting it off for you!
After the Vandals in blue and gray had shaken hands all around, they
parted with the best of feelings toward each other, as Gleaton said, "Now
we'll forgive past animosities, and sheath the sword, bury the hatchet, t-lose
the temple of Janus, furl the battle flag, smooth grim visaged war's wrinkled
front, extend the olive branch, "
"And," added Landon, "smoke the calumet of peace."
"Thank you for the suggestion,'' replied Gleaton, "and if any of you
don't happen to have a calumet about your person, a clay pipe will answer
all practical purposes just as well."
" Here she is," said a Vandal, pulling out a short, black pipe.
Leaving the St. Arlyle group. General Landon walked down the Confed-
erate Ime, eagerly scanning every knot of men in gray. At last his face
lighted up with an unusual interest, as he caught sight of Ned Wilberton,
the object of his search, and hurried toward him. As the two friends met,
for the first time since the commencement of the war, they clasped hands
in silence, with hearts too full for words. Landon was the tiist to break
the silence, as he said, sympathetically:
"This is a sad ending for you, my dear fellow ! And I am sincerely sorry
for you, but perhaps it is for the bept."
"I hope so," said Wilberton, sadly. " But I can't say so yet. But I
hope some time, with God's help, to be able to do so. But my heart is too
full of sorrow, and, I'm afraid, of bitterness also, to say so now. Yet I
know it is the duty of a soldier and of a true man to bear no enmity against
his former foe. Yet you know all it has cost me ; more than my country,
the life of her I held dearer than my heart's blood. But I know it would
be her wish, if she were living, to speed the day of peace and friendship
between the North and South, and sq, with God's help, I shall try and full-
fill her wish, on my humble part."
"Heaven bless you," said Landon, "and help you to bear your trials and
afflictions. I know her death was a terrible blow to you, for she was as
noble a girl as ever lived !"
After a short conversation the two friends parted, with hearts too full to
76 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
longer trust themselves in each other's presence. *
As General Landon walked onward he came to a clump of bushes in which
a number of soldiers were collected. And there he saw one of the most
touching sights — in its very pathetic sweetness — of all the sad scenes of war
— the dead form of a little drummer boy of wondrous beauty. He was
dressed in a full blue uniform, and as he lay he appeared like a dethroned
statue of an Apollo. His face was as beautiful as a god's and as fair and
delicate as that of a girl ; his right arm grasped his drum and his left rested
gently across his breast. He seemed rather as if sleeping, than dead.
Kneeling beside him was another little drummer boy in gray — no larger than
the other — endeavoring to pour water from a canteen between the wliite,
cold lips, but his efforts were vain, for the little fellow had been dead for an
hour or more.
It was a wonderfully affecting scene in its pure, tender pathos, and grim
old warriors' ejes were wet, that had not been moist before for years.
After gazing in silence for several moments at the touching scene, General
Landon said, as his voice grew husky with emotion :
" It is a sad sight, yet a beautiful omen of the lasting peace of the Re-
public, for it portends that the rising generation are forgiving and forgetting,
ere the sounds of the conflict have died away."
Then, as Landon stepped forward and gently raised the little Confederate
in his arms, he said,- tenderly :
" My little fellow, you can do no more for him. He is dead !"
. "Dead!" said the little drummer, as tears rolled down his cheeks.
" Dead!! Will he never wake again?"
"No, my child," replied Landon, almost brokenly. Then the little fellow
released himself from the young officer's grasp, and kneeling down by the
dead boy, kissed him, as he said in his cliildish simplicity and faith : "Good-
bye ! God will take care of you now !" Then General Landon bore him
away from the sorrowful scene.
The next day they rolled the little form in a blanket and buried it beneath
a willow, with a cross above the grave, on which was carved the single
On the morrow came the parting between the men of the former contend-
ing armies, and it was almost with a fraternal friendship that they bade each
other faieweli, for whoever began the war, and whatever their past differ-
ences might have been, they had fought the great battles together, and now
they were fellow soldie7\'< together at last !
Singly, in groups, on horseback and on foot, the Confederates left for their
far-away homes, and the great Federal army was left supreme and alone.
Then the Army of the Potomac faces northward, and receives its last orders
before it begins its homeward march. As one of the adjutant-generals'
assistants reads them he finishes with t,he following words :
" You will no longer be required to use the small tents, commonly called
dog-tents (tents used in rapid marching) but you will be furnished with
larger and better tents."
"Ah! that means," said Colonel Gleaton, pointing to the dog-tents with
his sword, "that we're through with them to all uitents and purp-jiouses!"
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 77
There was a burst of laughter from the men, while the officers shouted,
"Silence in the ranlis," though their own faces were wreathed in smiles.
Then the Federal army commenced its long march homeward. And it
was dull and spiritless to those old soldiers to plod wearily along, without
skirmishes ahead, and when they entered a valley to And no battery firing
upon them from the heights beyond, but to feel they were a greatarmy fully
equipped for war, but without a foe.
Thus separated the two armies after four years of strife, and the men who
met as foes parted at last as friends ! They had learned to know each other
better, and to love each other more, though the acquaintance had begun
and ended on the blood-stained field of strife !
And now at last, through the dark, storm-lit clouds of war, were bursting
the sweet beams of peace, like an angel of mercy heralding the happy sun-
shine of future years ; while from the homes in every part of the broad
Republic were going up prayers of thanks that the scenes of blood and
death were nearly over !
THE LAST REVIEW OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAO.
<t Tr|>RING out the flags before us,
C? Unfurl them one by one ;
Ere laid In solemn silence,
Away from sight and sun,
With name and date of sei-vlce.
So men to come may read
How sped the loyal forces,
When brave hearts took the lead.'
HE clear, silvery sunshine of the 23d of May, 1865, was
sweeping over Washington City, bathing the huge eapitol
with a crowning splendor, from its massive columns of
da/zling whiteness to the very summit of the immense
dome, that rested majestically on its massive stone base,
like some giant monarch on his throne.
It was a day memorable for one of the great events in the closing scenes
of the war — the last review and march of the Army of the Potomac.
Upon the broad expanse of Pennsylvania Avenue was drawn up in line
the immense Army of the Potomac, numbering over 85, 000 soldiers. It was
the greatest display of martial strength the capital of the nation had ever
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 79
yet witnessed, but as the morning sunbeams flashed on tlie gleaming arms
of the long lines of men in blue, th^y fell for the last time on that proud
armj', for now its worli was through.
Early in the day there was a slight commotion among those veteran sol-
diers, then the bugle sounded and the Army of the Potomac wheeled into
column of march, and with General Mead riding proudly at its head, filed
in long and stately array through the streets of Washington City, from the
capitol past the presidential mansion. Upon a platform erected in front of
the White House stood President Andrew Johnson, and by his side stood
General Grant, the commander of the armies of the United States. Around
these two central figures were grouped the judges of the Supreme Court,
and the various officers of state.
Along the line of march immense crowds gazed upon the war-worn sol-
diers from every sidewalk, window, door-way and available house-top.
Besides the thousands who had congregated through curiosity, were hundreds
of men, women and children who had flocked to Washington City with beat-
ing hearts, to welcome back from the army brothers, husbands, sons and
fathers they had not seen for years. And as they caught sight — from the
wmdows or sidewalks — of the loved ones, the wild cries of delight and
fluttering of handkerchiefs announced the fact, while the answering cheers
from the ranks told that the joy was mutual.
No wonder those brave men's steps were light and their hearts were gay
as they realized it was their last inarch! What words they were to them.
They meant no more terrible marches under a hot southern sun, carrying
heavy knapsacks. They meant farewell to tent and field and weary nights
of picket duty. They meant an end to fields of blood and death, with the
dangers of war leaving them crippled or dead. But, best of all, they meant
a speedy reunion around the old hearthstones of home, amongst those they
loved so dearly and tenderly.
Near the middle of the long column rode General Charlie Landon, at the
head of his division, and at the rear of it came the St. Arlyle regiment, with
Colonel Gleaton riding proudly at its head. Gleaton's explanation of the
regiment being in the extreme rear was that it was not because the regi-
ment wae of the least importance, but, like the good things at a banquet,
the best always came last.
As the regiment was passing a street corner, a delegation from St. Arlyle,
who had come to welcome back their soldier-boys, caught sight of them and
instantly broke into cheer after cheer. So wild was their enthusiasm that
even Gleaton for several moments was so overcome by the sight of their
joyous faces and their wild huzzas that he could only wave his hat. The
situation had become trying, when a soldier and whilom member of the
Vandal Club came to the rescue by slightly changing the old rallying cry on
the battle field of Gettysburg: " We've come here to stay," to the words:
"We're going home to stay I" Instantly the cry rang along the ranks:
" We're going home to stay ! We're going home to stay !"
By this time Gleaton had regained his composure, as he remarked :
"Yes, Othello's occupation's gone. So we'll beat our swords into plow-
shares, and our spears into pruning hooks, and go home to stay !"
80 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
At this juncture the regiineutal band struck up the strains of " Pat Mal-
loy," and immediately the whilom Vandals in the ranks began singing over
and over again the familiar lines :
" But now I'm going homo again, as poor as I began,
To make a happy girl of Moll, and sure I think I can."
But instead of "Moll" they substituted various other girls' names, such
as Belle, Nell, Em, etc. Perhaps these were the names of the sweet-
hearts they had left behind them, but we will not try to pry into their private
At the end of the march the Army of the Potomac was drawn up in line
once more, and the bands struck up their farewell strains, one near the cen-
ter of the line playing the tune of "Roslyn Castle," the old air that had
disbanded the Continental army at Newburgh, more than eighty years
before. And as the final strains floated on the air the men broke ranks for
the last time, and the great Army of the Potomac disappeared from view
forever; though its memory will ever live in the hearts and affections of the
country its soldiers fought so bravely to preserve.
As they heard the order to break ranks for the last time, and knew their
toils and dangers were through, and felt that home and friends were near,
it was a wonderful sight to see how differently these strong men expressed
their delight. Thousands broke into wild cheers, while some were too over-
come with happiness to speak, and stood like statues, as their eyes filled
with joyous tears, as they felt they were near the realization of their greatest
hopes and dreams !
A colonel, when he heard the order, sprang into the air, struck his heels
together, and turned a complete somersault. And as he regained his feet
he shouted : " Hurrah for Peace ! I never loved you half as well as now !"
A large captain sprang forward, clasped his wife — who had come to meet
him — in his arms, and as he lifted her off her feet and kissed her a dozen
times or more, cried : " Emily, you've either grown smaller, or else my
heart has grown bigger. I feel it's big enough to envelop a Colossus of
"But,'' said Gleaton, who was standing behind him, "a pyramid, orper-
haps old snowy-peaked Mount Blanc, might cool his ardor!"
A soldier had been standing calmly in the ranks, but when he heard the
order to break ranks, his face lit up with an unusual brightness as he ex-
claimed, aptly and tersely, even above the tumult:
"Great Heavens! Those are the words I've been listening for, for the
last four years. They mean wife, home and children !''
What a worid of meaning there was in that soldier's simple words. It
was the order the whole army had been hoping for after many a long cam-
paign, and after many a desperate battle. In fact, it was the order Tor
which the entire nation of heartsickened people was praying and longing.
But with the joys of Peace came the sad farewells between comrades for-
ever. Comrades who for weary years had shared their common meals
and tents together, or marched side by side through many a long campaign,
or stood shoulder to shoulder on many a bloody field, or nursed and encour-
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 81
aged each other through sickness and wounds, till they were endeared to
each other by almost family ties !
Then also came the soldiers' last tender parting from their commanders,
the officers who had led them with noble example and encouragement while
sharing their common dangers and sufiferings too. Between none of the
officers and the men was the parting more tender and sincere than between
Charlie and the soldiers of his division. For there was a boyish frankness
and generous good-h<io.rtedness about him that held a peculiar magnetism
that very rarely failed to win its way to others' hearts. This, added to his
dashing gallantry, his handsome face and fine commanding figure, and his
brilliant flashes of conversation, showing his great depth of learning, and
the easy, light and ingenuous way he had of imparling it, that won the
attention and t.onfldence of those about him, and above all, the sweet, tender
expression that filled his eyes when his sympathies were aroused for a
wounded soldier, or their daring glitter when facing a foe, that threw a
charm about him few could resist.
At last the parting words wei'e said, and the men scattered over the coun-
try to find rest in happy homes, surrounded by wife and children, or those
they loved the best. And in the joys of peace and home old comrades were
forgotten and forever separated, except to meet by chance, now and then,
as they talked over the thrilling scenes they had passed through together.
What a world of meaning there is in the word home ! It means more than
the house we inhabit ; it means those we love the dearest and the best I
And over Charlie Landon there came a feeling of sadness, as he felt he had
no home in the truest sense of the word ; for she he loved dearer than life
was separated from him, perhaps forever ! So in his grim despair he took
charge of a geological expedition, to explore for six months in South
America, in hopes that amid the new life his heart would lose some of the
weary pain that was ever gnawing at it, for he felt he never could forget or
control his love for her.
The next day after the review of the Army of the Potomac, General Sher-
man rode proudly through Washington City at the head of 150,000 sun-
burned and toil-worn soldiers, who had just returned from that long,
remarkable march from Atlanta to the sea. And that day they broke rank.s
forever, and ere sunset that mighty army was only a thing of the past.
And now again the stars and stripes floated in peace over the Kepublic,
from its northern boundary to its extreme southern line. And may Heaven
speed the day when time has calmed the sorrows and benumed the bitterness
and regrets, and the heart is touched and softened by that tranquil and
beautiful feeling, the memory of the dead — those brave soldiers in blue and
gray, who fought for what they deemed the right — that feeling that arouses
the better thoughts of our nature by the winning charm of sweet, pure
svmpathy, linked by the silver chord of memory and the golden chain of
love to the everlasting world of peace ; as if our souls had joined in mystic
intercourse with the spirits of those across the waves of time !
Thus when the years have fallen, silent, calm and still — like the sunlight
floods the globe — with an impartial touch on all, then will the laurels of
victory have intertwined with the bliss of peace and love !
SAD AND SWEET MEMOiSlTiS.
jTRIEKDS my soul with Joy remembers!
CS How like quivering flames they start.
When I tan the living embers
On the hearthstone ot my heart.
LOWLY the train was moving out of Rome, on a beautiful after-
noon in early June, as Bertha sat at an open car window, od
her way to her native land. The golden summer sunlight was
floating over the Eternal City in ali its splendor, mingling with
the clear, balmy Italian air, and as the troin wound through
the city, she caught last views of the rare old ruins and struc-
tures of ancient Rome, as they lay slumbering in the clear, warm air, while
there thronged before her mental vision, scenes from their wondrous history,
when Rome was the capital of the world. There before her view stood the
gigantic Colosseum, within whose walls for ages were enacted brutal
sports for the amusement of the Roman populace. Its huge interior, once
capable of holding 80,000 people, and its massive walls, once towering high
into the air, but now nearly half in ruins, yet amid the debris on the floor
can still be found the bronze ring to which Christian martyrs and other cap-
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 8S
lives were chained, while beneath the partly ruined spectators' galleries are
still to be seen the vast ranges of cells where the wild beasts — panthers,
tigers, leopards and lions — were kept that tore and mangled the human
captives in mortal combat, while the multitude looked on and applauded.
" But,"' she thought, "what a change Christianity has produced! For
there, where the dome of St. Peter's Cathedral looms high in the sky, were
the gardens of Nero — the most cruel of all the Roman tyrants. It was there,
during his reign, that the silent obelisks in the square before the cathedral
wituesr-ed the awful sights of human suffering. For it was there, on sum-
mer nights, that gay crowds — with the cruel Emperor among them — gath-
ered to watch the ghastly human torches blacken the ground with pitch,
while in each was a Christian martyr in his mantle of Ore ! And in the
Colosseum near by, immense crowds were watching the purest of Christian
men and women torn to pieces by wild beasts. No wonder, then, this gay
capital — bathed as it was in human blood — met at last a terrible fate at the
hand of the barbarian !"
Out of Home the train wound slowly northward, through the Cainpagna,
brilliant with the array of scarlet and yellow Ilowers, toward Florence, a
hundred and fifty miles distant. And as she gazed from the car windows,
it was a beautiful and entraaciag sight that unfolded before her view, for
this was Tuscany, the ancient Etruria of wondrous history. 8he catches
glimpses of mountain heights, of cool, shady ravines, then of quaint old
walled towns, slumbering in the dreamy, balmy Italian air. And there
arises before her mind, as if by magic, visions of that glorious past recorded
on the glowing pages of Arnold, Gibbon and Sesmondi. And farther back
yet, her imagination wanders, ere Rome's regal and imperial glory was
born, and while yet the lance and shield of the Middle Ages had more than
two thousand years to wait, when the Etruscan commonwealth of twelve
fair cities formed a confederacy that required all the early strength of Rome
to subdue. And as the train whirls along, there passes like a panorama
the ruins of these cities of bygone glories and the tombs of Porsena and
Lucomo and the other heroes of that departed age, sleeping unconscious of
the two thousand years and more of history that has since elapsed.
And again her thoughts sweep over those later years, when Tuscany was
bathed in blood, successively by the Roman rulers, the Gothic conquerors,
and the Prankish and the German warriors, but on whose gallant deeds the
curtain of the past has fallen forever. Thus under the effects of the warm,
balmy air, a dreamy languor had stolen over her, when suddenly she was
aroused from her reverie, just as the train was leaving a little sleepy Italian
station, by a gentle tap on the shoulder. Instantly her thoughts, which
had floated tar away into time and space, were brought back to the con-
sciousness of the present.
Bertha looked up, and with a start of surprise she saw Colonel Edward
Wilberton standing by her side. Over her lovely face there came an expres-
sion of pleasure, mingled with sadness, as she thought, "now I shall hear
of poor, dear May's death, and" — with a slight blush — "of Charlie Landon
After they had exchanged a few words of greeting, he seated himself by
S^ T HBO UGH W'JE TO FEACE.
her side in silence. For over the minds of each, rolled a flood of memorios
of those stirring bygone years — sad and tender thoughts, that seemgd al-
most too deep for words.
At last, Bertha, with a woman's gentleness and tact, broke the silence
with a commonplace question and quickly and skillfully led to the subji'cts
nearest hex heart.
" How long have you been in Italy?" she asked.
"About two months," he replied. "Are you gomg to Florence?"
"Yes," she answered, "on my way home to America. For I shall ever
consider it home, for around it cling the dearest and sweetest memories
of all !"
"It will also," he said, "be home to me, though I fought against its flag.
But it cost me dearly ; all that I loved tenderest in this world. And my
severe chastening, I think, has gone far toward atoning for my willfulness.
And though my heart at tirst was tilled with a bitter desire for revenge, time
has calmed and mollifled it, and my wishes now are for the welfare of the
whole country. For I feel it holds the grave of her I loved better than all
the world beside. My noble, true-hearted May."
"Sweet, gentle May !" exclaimed Bertha, as her dark eyes grew moist.
It seems so cruel that war's rude hand should have claimed her as one of
its victims. She, whose every thought was one of love for others, and
whose every deed seemed an act of kindness for those around her. But I'm
sure her faith, like her life, was perfect to the last !"
"Indeed it was. And her last wishes, like the acts and thoughts of her
life, were for the welfare of those she loved. For even the approach of
Death's cold, icy hand could not still her loving heart, till it had ceased to
"She was mortally wounded at Gettysburg?" said Bertha, as her beauti-
ful dark eyes grew wet with tears.
"Yes," he replied, as over his face came an almost womanly tenderness,
mingled with sadness. He then gave a graphic description of May's tragic
"But," he continued, "before her noble, .loving heart was stilled forever
she said :
" 'Tell Bertha, when you see her, that my last moments w'ere calm and
happy. And tell her to crush her pride, and be true to her own heart and
Heaven will bless her.' "
"God bless her," said Bertha, "if He can, more than He already does in
her happy home in Heaven," she continued, as the tears filled her dark eyes
and fell upon the fragrant blossoms on her bosom, while there came a won-
derful tenderness over her lovely face.
" May grew rapidly weaker," Wilberton continued, "as she said with a
strong effort : 'Good-bye, Ned ! Don't cry ! We've had a happy life together.
It seems hard to go, yet God's will be done. But I shall meet you on the
shining shore of Peace !'
" Then her arm tightened convulsively and passionately around my neck,
and her sweet blue eyes sought mine with a last, wild, loving glance ! Then
the little hand relaxed its hold on my neck, and the eyelids drooped heavily
THROUGH W\^R TO PEACE. 85
forever over the sweet blue eyes ! I bent my head quickly and kissed her
li])s, as with her parting breath 'the light of immortal beauty silently cov-
ered her face.' Then as my head sank upon her breast, I heard the last beat ^
of her heart, and I knew the rosy lips would never smile upon me again,
and that the sweet blue eyes would never greet me more!
•' Like one in some horrible dream, I saw the last rays of twilight sol-
emnly fade, and darkness shroud the Pennsylvania hills ; and sad and
gloomy it fell upon me ! In that long, sorrowful night that closed around
me, there sprang forth grim spectres of sweet memories, hopes and loves,
that haunted me but to remind me that they were dead, till there came upon
me a feeling of desolation, like one lost forever in a dark wilderness ; as I
realized that my brightest hopes, dreams and wishes were shattered forever!
And in that awful night there sprang out of the darkness many vivid scenes
of suffering and agony, till I felt like the lost soul in the old Greek myth-
ology, as it IS borne by the ghastly ferryman, Charon, across the Stygian
" There, long after midnight, they found me, still clasping her inanimate
form ! They bore her form into camp, and I followed, like one in some hor-
rible dream. I had all that was mortal of her buried in St. Arlyle. Then
I joined my regiment again, with a heart maddened with anger, and with a
thirst for revenge jto ivords can express! And I resolved to tight the war
out to the bitter end! Though I scarcely cared to know — so deep was my
desire for vengeance — what that end would be !"
"The battle of Gettysburg," continued Wilberton, "was the turning point
of the war, but we fought on as desperately as ever. After that battle, we
had one more chance for victory, on the terrible battle field of the Wilder-
ness. But we failed, and after that we saw the star of Confederacy grad-
ually but surelj' sinking, until it disappeared forever on an April day, on the
field at Appomattox, nearly a year later !
" During the last battles around Eichmond we were reduced to but eight
thousand men, while the great Federal armj- numbered nearly two hundred
thousand, but we struggled on with a bravery that surprised the enemj-, and
with a success at resistance that even astonished us. But what the result
would be of that last protracted struggle, was as evident to the commonest
soldier as it was to the commander himself — it meant annUdlation or sur-
render ! But those few men of that once great army of Northern Virginia
were fighting with a des|ieration akin to death, for most of them had lost
their all — and in the grimness of despair they little cared what the end
would be ! The end came on an April day, when we stacked our arms for-
ever, and laid our colors in the dust 1 But the end was a surprise to us, for
we found the Federal soldiers wonderfully kind and tender. They gave more
than a generous half of their food to our starving men, and they endeav-
ored in every way not to hurt our feelings, or to make us feel like a humili-
ated foe. For, said they, have we not fought the great battles together,
and are we not fellow soldiers at last? And in those few days we learned
to know and like them better than we ever had before !"
" I was standing," continued Wilberton, "on the field of surrender, when
Charlie Landon came to me with his old winning, boyish frankness, and as
86 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
he grasped my hand, he said with a kind expression on his handsome face
and a tenderness in his voice that won my heart:
" ' This is a sad ending, my dear fellow ! And I am sincerely sorry for you,
but it is perhaps for the best?' "
"He IS," continued Wilberton, "a noble fellow; generous, true and kind;
incapable of a mean action or word ; for he has a heart as far above mean-
ness and envy as the heavens are above the earth. He is the most brilliant
scholar I ever knew, for so young a man. He is a noble, generous soldier,
and as brave as a lion ! In fact, he has just the qualities of a hero. For I
have met him as a foe, and tried him as a friend, and he realizes in all its
fullness the poet's line of 'Truest friend and noblest foe.' "
Bertha looked up, as a blush mantled her beautiful face, and the love-
light sparkled in her dark, velvety orbs, as she said :
"You are very generous in the praise of j-our friends."
" Not always," he said. " But in my admiration of Charlie Landon I am
only just, for he deserves it all, and more."
After a moment's silence, Wilberton continued : "So Charlie Landon and
I parted, but I hope ere long to meet him again, in a united country. For
one ©f my greatest wishes now, is to see my country united in hearts as well
as bonds. One of the great philosophers, and wise men of Greece was once
asked : 'What is the most grateful of all things?' and he answered, ' Timt'.'
His answer was a very true one ; for time is a great softener of asperities, as
well as a corrector of judgments. For though, even now, when I catch
sight of the stars and bars, there arises a tender, true memory of the
stormy days when I rallied under its folds, still when I see the stars and
stripes, there arises the love of my boj'hood and early manhood, and older
and dearer love even still !"
"And," said Bertha, archly, " old loves are always the strongest and the
'.'True," he replied, smiling. "I have found it so, for there were mom-
ents in the early days of the Civil War when, as I looked across the battle
line and saw the old flag floating there, I almost felt as Homer depicts the
feelings of Helen, while she gazed from the ramparts of Troy, as with 'for-
" 'Her country, parents, all that once were dear.
Bush to her thoughts, and force a tender tear.'
"For it was the flag of my boyhood, of my early manhood, too, and the
tenderest impulses of my heart still clung to the dear old flag, for under
its folds the sweetest years of my life had been passed, when ' Hope was
life's sweet sovereign, and the heart and step were light.' "
At last the fair city of Florence dawns in view, that Tuscan lily, which
Italy wears like a blossom upon her breast. And in that lovely June after-
noon, the beautiful city lay shining in the sunlight like a gem in a beautiful
Betting of green. They catch sight of the many gilded palaces, and watch
the sunlight glitter on the immense dome of the Duomo, and flash in fiery
corruscations from the hundreds of spires of that wonderful city. And
while they yet gaze in admiration, the Angelus bells, of the world-famed
Cathedral of Campanile, peal forth their sweet melody on the peifumed air
THROUGH JVAB TO PEACE. 87
— arising from the array of flowers of every hue — sending forth, as it were,
a double welcome to the fair, ancient city.
"This is my station," said Colonel Wilberton, arising as the train ap-
proached a small station. "Do you intend to tarry in P^lorence?"
"No, I am going home to the United States," she replied, smiling, ^'for
des^jAte the siinmj skies of Italy, my heart is roving there! For I never
loved my country better than I do now. And," she added, as a warm tint
mantled her lovely face, and a beautiful light filled her dark, lustrous eyes,
"one of the greatest wishes of my heart is to see the men who wor(3 the
blue and gray, mingled in as perfect fellowship as the gray dawn of a sum-
mer morning is mingled with the perfect blue of a summer day."
"And I think the omens are propitious toward realizing your wish," he
replied, with a smile. "For a short time before I left America, I went over
the old battle fields, and I found, just as the North and South were forgiv-
ing and forgetting, so nature, too, was hiding the old scars of enmity, and
the lilies of love and peace were springing where the laurels used to growl
For on the field of Gettysburg, the Federal and Conf^.derate monuments of
valor are standing almost side by sidel"
THE VANDAIi CONGKESS ONCE AGAIN.
C^ SEE a chief who leada my chosen sons,
& All armed with points, antitheses and puns.
iFTER the close of the Civil War, and the return of the absent
Vandals to St. Arlyle, the Vandal Club, or Congress, (as
they themselves called it) was reorganized and placed in
a more flourishing condition. Although during the War its
organization had been continued, the Club had gradually lost
one member after another, until the interest in it had sunk
to a very low ebb. But with the return of the old members and the addi-
tion of new ones, there came a new era in its prosperity, until, to use the
words of Gleaton, "it transcended its pristine glory."
An adjunct that had materially assiste^l in increasing its membership was
the rapid growth of the village, since it had become a popular bathing re-
sort. The Club had so far progr.-ssed toward placing its organization on a
permanent basis as to be able to build a club house on the lot which they
had purchased. The source from which the Vandals had obtained their
funds was at tirst somewhat enveloped in mystery, but it gradually became
known that several prominent persons had assisted them. Among the num-
ber was Eichard Lex, who had been elected a county judge, for he had
become a sober and useful citizen. Colonel Tom Gleaton had also sent
them a present of fifty dollars. Charles Landon had, to use their own
words, "kindly interested himself in their affairs, and materially assisted
them with pecuniary emoluments." And last to be mentioned, but not least
in giving, was Miss Bertha Merton, who had not forgotten how intimately
they were intertwined with those troublous days of the past, and how nobly
and manfully they had come to her assistance. Her gifts consisted of
money and books, both of which they received with many thanks, expressed
by means of the most grandiloquent letters the Club could compose, which
when she read she would remark with a smile that "they are good fellows
and deserving of encouragement, though somewhat addicted to compli-
ments and high flown language."
As we have remarked, one 6f Miss Merton's gifts consisted of books, and
this formed the nucleus of their constantly increasing library. Their library
was a heterogeneous collection of works on law, science, literature and phil-
osophy. Pre-eminent among their books were several full sets of encyclo-
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 89
pedias and three large dictionaries. Tiiese latter volumes, they claimed,
were very essential to the Congress' progress, as we shall also see if we
attend a session of the Club.
It was Saturday night, and the Vandal Congress was in full session.
There are many changes in their ranks since last we chronicled their pro-
ceedings, but still we recognize many familiar faces — grown older, it is true
— but still with the same felicitous, jolly expression on them as of yore.
It was a large room, and extending entirely across the floor, were rows of
chairs, in which the members ensconced themselves during a session. Fac-
ing the chair, and against the wall, was a raised platform, covered by a
crimson plush canopy, and on this dais was a large arm chair, which was
occupied by the President during their deliberations. Directly in front of
this platform were two desks, where. the two secretaries sat who recorded
the proceedings of the Congress. On one side of the room was a huge desk,
piled with books and papers, at which the reference clerk sat, whose duties
we shall learn of by and by. The walls, where not occupied by book cases,
were covered with pictures, maps and charts. In one corner of the room
stood a glass case, filled with minerals, swords, belts, guns, balls, and various
other souvenirs of the War. In another corner stood a large brass-knobbed
wooden safe, painted green, on which was delineated in vivid colors, a huge
bull dog — evidently the Cerberus of«the treasury. What the safe contained
was a mystery — for it was very heavy and was never opened — but the trad-
ition ran that it was filled with bricks.
The Club had elected a new President, named Samuel Verbum, who was
remarkable for two characteristics, his great and grandiloquent command
of language and his sempiternal ability to smoke an immense pipe. He
seemed to be acquainted with all the words in the dictionary, and to be able
to use them on any occasion with a volubility that was wouderful. liut a
new or rare word was his delight, and he caught it in a moment aud enfolded
in his tenacious memory with a grip like Nessus's shirt on the body of
During the session of the Club Verbum smoked the huge pipe, with a
bowl the size of a teacup, into which he would pour a quarter of a pound
of tobacco, and then, seating himself in the President's chair, would puff
forth immense volumes of smoke, like a human steam engine. It was said
that he only smoked during a meeting of the Club, but anyhow it was on
these occasions alone he smoked the immense pipe. Several Vandals, in
Sam's absence, had surreptitiously obtained the meerschaum, and after filling
it with tobacco, had endeavored to smoke it, but after nearly killing them-
selves, had yielded to him the palm as a smoker, just as they had long since
admitted him to be the chief in the use of rare words and grandiloquent
Samuel Verbum was reporter on the village paper. He was of medium
height, about twenty-two or three years of age, with a full, good-natured
face, brown eyes, dark, wavy hair, a black, curling moustache, and — in oppo-
sition to the prevalent idea of a hard student — a full, rounded figure, for,
notwithstanding Sam's hard study in devouring an English unabridged dic-
tionary and most of a standard encyclopedia, he had literally grown fleshy
90 THROUGH WAR TO RE ACE.
during his great feast of words. T'lose members of the Vandal Club who
had entered the army, had found Sam in another regiment in their brigade,
or perhaps he had discovered them, or, rather, the discovery was mutual,
for he had affiliated with them as instinctively as a duck takes to water.
He had obtained his transfer from his regiment to their company, and at the
close of the war he had drifted back with them to St. Arlyle.
As we have remarked, it was Saturday night, and the Congress was in full
session. It was a grand occasion, being their .first gala meeting since the
War, and there were present by invitation a number of ex- Vandals, among
others Colonel Tom Gleaton. These invited guests were to make a few
remarks, to give "eclat," as tlie Vandals expressed it, to the occasion.
After Samuel Verbura had taken the chair and sent forth a few huge puffs
of smoke from his immense meerschaum, he called the meeting to order
and requested the clerk to call the roll and read the minutes of the last
session, after which he announced :
" We will now proceed to the profliient order of business, and the secre-
tarj' will peruse the communication addressed to the Vandal Congress."
The secretary then read a brief communication from Miss Merton, tender-
ing a gift of a hundred dollars to the Vandal Club.
"It should be addressed to the Vandal fJ'0Nr//'('.s'.s," said Verbum. "What
is the sense of the assembly?"
"Suspend the rules and accept the donation," moved a member.
"But that will not assist us," said Verbum. " It is not according to par-
"Suspend the name, and take in the appropriation," shouted a Vandal.
And the name was according suspended, and the appropriation taken in.
A resolution of thanks to Miss Merton was then offered and unanimously
adopted, alter it had undergone numerous emendations and additions, until
it was invested with the most grandiloquent language possible.
"She is," said Veibum, referring to Miss Merton, "a noble little lady, and
in the words of the Koman proverb, Autor pretiosa facit — the giver makes
the gift more precious."
" Yes," said Ed Thorne, the reference clerk, "she is an example of the
Latin apothegm, Gratior ac pulchro veniena in corpore virtus, which we
may freely translate: Beauty lends grace even to intrinsic worth."
"She fulfills," said Joe Percival, the philosopher of the Club, "the ancient
sage's delinition that 'Beauty is a sovereignty that stands in nee<l of no
"And also," said Will Anderson, "Aristotle's definition of beauty: 'The
gift of a fair appearance.' "
" To see her," said Joe Pei'cival, "and to wonder why all praise her, is to
exclaim with Aristotle, when some one asked him 'why all people admire
beauty.' 'Why,' he exclaimed, 'it is the question of a blind man !' '
"Or," said a member near the door, "to use the words of Plato, 'Beauty
is the privilege of nature,' and in the words of Theocritus, 'An ivory mis-
chief,' and in those of Socrates, 'A short lived tyranny.' "
There was instantly cries of dissension and hisses, while over Verbum's
face came an expression of surprise and anger, as he exclamied : "Sergeant-
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 91
at-arms, carefully eliminate that member from the assembly !"
The sergeant-at-arms seized his huge stuffed club, nearly as large as him-
self, and instantly made a charge on the obnoxious member, who was en-
deavoring to escape, but the club came in contact with his posterior and
elevated him about ten feet into the street. As the officer of order closed
the door he exclaimed :
"In the words of the Bard of Avon, ' How are we tossed on fortune's
fickle flood !' "
" Nothing in this world," said President Verbum, as he rapped for order,
"excels a fool with too long a tongue !
" 'Nothing exceeds in ridicule no doubt,
A fool in fashion, but a fool thafs out,^ "
"No one," said Will Johnson, "but an idiot would make such frivolous
remarks about a young lady who has been such a true friend to the members
of this body. She is a noble little lady. I saw her the other day, and she
looked irresistibly and bewitchingly beautiful, without a thought of the en-
trancing thrill she sent darting through many a fellow's heart !"
As the last speaker finished, Verbum gave a long puff on his large pipe,
then laid it aside for a crowning effort, as he began :
"She's a dainty, bewitching little lady; she's a charming, bonny girl;
she's a sweet, darling little maid ; she's as beautiful as a Hebe, as lovely as
a Venus, as graceful as a Peri, as fair as a lily, and as dazzling as a goddess !
She's truly gorgeous, superb, magnificent, sublime, grand ! In a sentence,
she realizes the artist's fancy, and the poet's dream, when he wrote :
" ' When life looks lone and dreary,
What light can expel the gloom?
When Time's swift wing grows weary.
What charm can refresh his plume?
'Tis woman, whose sweetness beameth .
O erall that we feel and see,
And it man ot heaven e'er dreameth,
'Tis when he thinks purely of thee.' "
When Verbum ceased speaking there was a silence for several moments,
broken at last by the President asking: "Has anyone anything moie to
" I think not," said Thorne, as he gazed In despair at the ponderous vol-
umes before him. "I guess you've nearly tested the power of the English
"Are there any other communications?" asked Verbum.
"Yes," replied the clerk, reading one from the trustees of the town li-
brary, asking for a donation of books.
"It seems to me," said Verbum, "that charity should inaugurate proceed-
ings on its own native heath. But I merely throw this out as a supererog-
atory, metaphysical suggestion. What are the wishes of the assembly?"
" I move," said a member, "that the communication lie on the table."
And it was accordingly tabled.
"There being no other messages before the house," said the President,
"we will now take cognizance of the protocol of the chairman of the com-
mittee on 'News About Town.' "
92 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
"In our last report," began Will Stoakes, "wo gave an account of an at-
tempt by some of the musically inclined boj's to whip the clergyman, and
also the outcome. But we were unable at that time to state the cause of
the belligerent attitude of the parties. It seems, a short time ago the St.
Arlyle amateur brass band attended the funeral of one of the firemen, and
when they had squelched out, at the side of the grave, what they called
' The Sweet By and By' in a tune that resembled a cross between the liowl
of a hyena and the whine of a dying pup (in fact it was such a dismal dis-
cord that several persons in the rear looked over the others' shoulders to
see what kind of an animal they were torturing) the minister in his address
said that 'the deceased was, in one respect, fortunate in being thus called
early.' That was all he remarked, but a great many people grinned, and
the amateur 'wind-jammers' said that his infernal sarcasm was entirely out
of place at a funeral."
"Perhaps,'' said Ed Thorne, "the minister merely threw it out as a sup-
ererogatory, metaphysical suggestion."
"Maybe he did," replied Stoakes, "but the 'wind-jammers' felt exceed-
ingly warlike about it, and called upon the minister, with the results we have
" Tiiere arrived in town, about three months ago," continued Stoakes, "a
verdant appearing fellow, who looked as if he had been browsing among
the chaparral on some mountain side. A few days since, he requested to be
admitted into the Vandal Congress. So we told him that we would initiate
him, and accordingly we took him up into Kirkman's warehouse. We told
him there were four degrees, the highest of which was the EoyalSkyfogle de-
gree, which was very difficult to take, and that few people were able to take
it. His answer was : ' Bring along your degrees; 1 11 take 'em!' After we
had read to him the printed ritual of the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, and
other secret societies, we blind-folded him, and leading him into a closet we
let the old skeleton drop on him. He gave a howl like a scared wolf, and
it was all we could do to hoid him. Then we took him out of the closet
and blind-folded him again, and from our past experience we thought it
best to tie his hands behind his back. Then we drew him over a table, and
while two of us held him by the ears the other one paddled him with a
board. He laid it on well, and the victim howled to a lively tune. Then
we let him wander around the warehouse, and fall over a dozen boxes and
barrels, till he had skinned his shins and his nose. Then we caught him,
and laying him on a table, held him by the ears while we gave him some
more paddling, after which we dipped his head in a bucket of water, then
in a box of Hour, and finally iu a box of powdered charcoal, when he looked
like a cross between an African and an albino. Then we untied his hands
and took the bandage from his eyes, and the first question he asked was :
" 'Am I a Vandal now?' We told him 'yes.'
" 'And have I taken the Royal Skyfogle degree?' We told him he had
taken the Koyal Skyfogle degree.
" 'Then, boys," said lie, ' I'll initiate you in the thunder and lightning de-
gree, and malce you eat humble pie !'
"And with that remark he knocked me down, he hit Dave Johnson iu the
THROUGH W^JR TO PEACE. 93
ftye and Ed Thorne in the jaw. When we all arose from the floor, we closed
in with him. I seized him by one arm, Dave got him by the other, and
Thorne seized him by the leg. The first thing he did, he kicked Dave in the
stomach and doubled him up like a jack-knife, he threw me about ton feet,
and pitched Ed head-flrst into the barrel of charcoal. Then he seemed sat-
isfied, and we were very glad of it, for we like to see a man satisfied.
" He proved a great surprise to us. But, in the words of the old pro-
verb : 'You can't always tell by the size of the toad how far he can jump !' "
"Yes," said Verbum, "there is a great deal of truth in the Roman pro-
verb, Fronti nulla fides — there is no trusting to appearances."
At this juncture one of the Vaudab-., who was standmg in the doorway
holding a whispered conversation with some one outside, advanced to the
middle of the room and raised his hand, to attract the President's attention.
" Mr. Brown has the floor," said Verbum.
"There's a nigger out there," said the member, with a jerk of his thumb
over his shoulder, "who wishes to bo admitted to the floor. He says he
was in the war."
" That is not the way to speak, sir. Tou should say 'gentleman of color.' "
" Yes, he's got the color, for he's as black as the ace of spades !''
"What is the wish of the assembly?" asked Verbum.
"Admit him !" shouted the members, who had a penchant for anyone who
had served in the war.
The negro entered, and as he took a seat and gazed at Verbum in wonder,
he exclaimed : "Golly ! don't he smoke a big pipe !"
Then President Verbum, without noticing his remark, began to interro-
gate him as follows :
" What is your name?"
"James Caesar, sah."
"Where were you born?"
" In Norf Carolina, sah."
" How long were you in the war?"
"Nine months, sah."
" Where were you? In what army, I mean."
" I wuz Sve months in de hospital, sah."
" Where were you the other four months?"
"I wuz — I wuz looking for de hospital, sah."
" Sergeant-at-arms !" shouted Verbum, "carefully eliminate the gentle-
man of color from this assembly."
The sergeant-at-arms sat his huge stuffed club by the door, and then went
for the darkey, and as he caught him by the ear, he said in a stage whisper:
"Come Mr. Ceesar ! Get! Skip! Shake a leg! Make your conge !" He
led the blackamoor to the door, and seizing his club, he gave him a blow in
the rear that hoisted him a dozen feet into the strtet.
As the colored gentleman gathered himself out of the dust, he exclaimed :
"Golly ! Boss, dat wuz a terrible hint! But I'll clean out de whole insti-
" In the words of Homer," said Verbum, " ' Thy aid we need not, and thy
threats defy.' And I hope your conge is a supererogatory, metaphysicai
suggestion that no imposters can foist themselves upon this body."
THE VANDAL CONGBESS, CONTINUED.
fES, we're boys— always playing with tongue or with penl
Aud I sometimes have asked, Shall we ever be men?
Shall we always be youthful, aud laughing, and gay,
Till the last dear companion drops smiliug away?
Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its grayl
The stars of its winter, the dews ol its May !
— 0. W. Holmes.
HE report of the Chairman of the Hymeneal Committee is
now in order," said Verbum.
Pete Hale began : " Mr. President: During the past week
there have been several marriages, or, to express it more
poetically, sevei'al youths and maidens have caught the
ethereal fragrance of love, or, to use the words of Homer,
have themselves been caught by the ' The old, yet still successful cheat of
" The first marriage of the week we have to chronicle is that of Sam Dawn
to Mary Black. Sam Dawn first fell in love with Nellie Edwards, and they
became engaged, but it was the old story, the course of true love didn't
run smooth. At first the subtle aroma of romance clung around tlieir bc-
trothment, and in their blissful imaginations they seemed to live in a delight-
ful dream. But alas ! the awakening came. They began by a few lovers*
quarrels, and ended by breaking the engagement. I am not philosopher
euougli to tell why, but it is a fact that love is nearly always associated
with misery. Especially is this true of the younger loves —what are denom-
inated first loves. The boy falls in love, and there is but one great object in
the universe for him, — a girl's fair, sweet face — and it dazzles him with
its luster, wherever he may roam. He feels that he has entered a new world,
and the light of that face dazzles his eyes. Then he is absent a few weeks,
and on his return he finds a change in his sweetheart, and they quarrel, and
she tells him that she has found some one she loves better. And his idyllic
dream, with its sweet, tender memories, is shattered forever! ..And he feels
that ruin and chaos have closed around all things, and that the world is a
deception. Though his friends may ridicule his pain, and he may reason
with himself till he thinks he has completely conquered the old pain, yet
the sight of her fair face, or the scent of the perfume that always seemed
to cling about her may in a moment make his heart swell with all its old
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 95
bitterness again. But after avvliile lie becomes diseuamored, and then be-
comes a misogynist for awliile, but finally he recovers, and tlien he discovers
that there are other fair faces in the world, for, as the poet says :
'Ay, such is man's philosophy when woman is untrue,
The loss of one but teaches him to make another do.'
"And Sam Dawn met Mary Black, and she proved a balm for nearly all his
woe, and so you see, to slightly change the old proverb, ' ' Tis always the
Blackest just before the Dawn.'
"The next marriage we have to report is that of James King to Nelly
Slave. They are of a nubile age and new people in the village, and we have
not been able to learn much about them ; but in the words of the poet:
' Love ! thou art not a King alone ;
Both Slave and King thou art.
Who seeks to swaj', must stoop to own
The Kingdom ©f the heart.'
"It is with pleasure," continued Haie, "that we announce the marriage
of Charles Havens to Emilj Thorne, for it is the consummation of a life-
long love. He is generous, brave and handsome ; a man and a scholar, with a
noble, tender and true heart, that the girl who has won it must dearly prize.
His genial manner, his goodhearteduess, and his true friendship, while
seemingly unconscious of it all, have won for him every true heart's admir-
She is a charming, accomplished little brunette, with a sweet, winning
way. She is a noble little lady, with a warm, pure hea,rt, an originality
about her that is ever fresh and pure, while her sunny smile and sympathy
have won the U)ve of young and old. And to him who has won her she is
more than a golden prize, for she is a treasury of sympathy, courage and
"And undoubtedly they have both realized their ideals; he in the fair,
sweet girl, with a noble heart ; and she in the man who, despite the world's
sordid touch, still possesses a bright record', without a blot ! And maj' h«
long realize the sweetness of the lines :
'Oh, pleasant is the welcome kiss,
When the day's dull round is o'er,
And sweet the music of the step
That meets us at the door.'
" There is," continued Hale, "a prospective marriage on the tapis, that of
our esthetic friend Fred Stone to a city girl. I saw him out buggy riding
with his inamorata the other day, driving a piebald horse, and as the poet
' I saw the curl of his waving lash.
And the glance of his knowing eye.
And I knew he thought he was cutting a dash,
As his steed went thundering by.' "
As Pete Hale finished speaking, there came a series of loud raps at the
door, and the sergeant-at-arms hastened to it. When he opened the door
and gazed out, there came over his face a strong expression of surprise.
96 TH BOUGH WAR TO PEACE.
■which each moment increased, as he dropped his club and his eyes and hia
mouth opened in wonder to tlieir full extent. Then, recovering his self-
possession, he flung the door wide open, and in stepped Professor Phantom,
tall, gaunt, grim, ghostly as ever ! In an instant every member of the Club
■was on his feet in amazement, for it had been reported that Phantom had
died, and had been buried nearly a year before ; in fact, several persons in
the village claimed that they had attended his funeral. When the Vandals
recovered from their momentary surprise they eagerly crowded around
Phantom, and as they shook hands with him they greeted him with such
expressions as : " How are you, Ghost?" " Hello, Goblin ! "What's the
news from Hades?" " How are you, Professor Spook? You're the same
old rattlebones." " Why, you're as fat as a match !" and numerous similar
expressions. But Phantom bore their raillery and gibes good-naturedly,
and even seemed pleased at their hearty welcome. When order had been
restored. Phantom said :
"Mr. President and members of the Vandal Congress: It is with a world
of pleasure that 1 receive your kindly greeting, and my heart tells me that
I am again among friends. Life has many trials and vicissitudes, but I
feel, to use a classical phrase. Post tot naiifragla portum — after many
shipwrecks, I have found a harbor. I am growing old, and cannot bear the
fluctuating tide of flckle fortune, as in former years. And I am aware that
the rejuvenescence of youth has departed, and I shall never begin in the
incipiency of things again."
" No," said Verbum, "when nature makes a miscalculation, she never re-
peats the identical experiment, at least not with the same material."
"Exactly," said Phantom, "and I'm content to say, in tte words of the
' Fortune and Hope, farewell ! I've gained the port;
You've fooled me long — make others now your sport."
"Or, in the words of Homer," replied Verbum:
• The field of combat fits the young and bold ;
The solemn council best becomes the old.' "
"Very appropriate, Mr. President, very appropriate!"
"I merely threw it out as a supererogatory, metaphysical suggestion."
" I move," said a Vandal, "that Professor Phantom be elected a member
of the Vandal Congress."
" He was a whilom member, was he not?" asked Verbum.
"Yes," replied the clerk, after he had examined the roll.
"Then he is already a Vandal. For, like the College of Cardinals, once
a Cardinal, always a Cardinal, so it is with this body, once a Vandal, always
a Vandal. Only the King of Terrors can remove a member."
At this moment a card was sent in from the door, bearing a request to see
Verbum. He immediately called Will Stoakes to the chair and left the
As Verbum left the room Ed Thome arose and said: "Mr. President: I
was never so surprised in my life as when I saw our illustrious fnend Pro-
fessor Phantom enter the room, after so many of our citizens had attended
THROUGH WAR TO PEACJ^. 97
his funeral, and it reminds me forcibly of a story, which runs as follows:
" Two sailors with a tame parrot one night went to a sleight of hand show,
held in the upper part of a warehouse, in New Orleans. Although the three
constituted the entire audience, the showman proceeded with the perform-
ance. He was very clever, and performed sr>me very wonderful tricks, so
that he greatly excited the amazement of one of the sailors, who after every
feat of jugglery would exclaim:
" ' That's pretty good ! I wonder what he'll do next?'
" After awhile the silent sailor asked leave to smoke his pipe, which was
granted, 'seeing,' as the magician remarked, 'there were no ladies present.*
Thus the performance proceeded, one of the sailors smoking his pipe in
silence, while the other would exclaim after every trick :
" ' That's pretty good ! I wonder what he'll do next?'
"At last the sailor of few words grew tired of smoking, and knocked the
hot ashes from his pipe through a knot-hole in the floor, all unconscious
that four hundred tons of gunpowder were stored below!
"In an mutant they were all, with the exception of the parrot, blown to
the kingdom to come. The parrot was blown about three miles into the air
and across the Mississippi Kiver, where it came down with the loss of its
wings, one eye and a leg, while its tail feathers were burned ofif. . As the
bird flopped down on a post on its only remaining leg, it shrieked wildly:
" 'That's pretty good ! ! I wonder what he'll do next?' "
Just as Thorne concluded his narrative Verbum entered, and in answer to
Stoakes's offer to vacate the chair, he said : " No, retain the chair; I wish
to make a few remarks. I was never so astonished in my life," he began,
•'as when our quondam and illustrious compatriot, Professor Phantom, ap-
peared before us. That mortal man could appear again after so many of
the denizens of our village had attended his obsequies, and after the Vandal
Congress had given him such a brilliant obituary, is astounding to a marvelous
degree! And I can only portray my wonderment by the ensuiug apologue,
which with the acquiei^cence of this august body, 1 will will proceed to an-
"Two mariners, accompanied by a domesticated scausorial avis, on a noc-
turnal occasion, attended an exhibition of the Theurgicart in the metropolis
of New Orleans. Although they constituted the entire audience, neverthe-
less the nomadic prestidigitator inaugurated proceedings in the esoteric
science. The disciple of magic eventuated to ver^' expert and deedalian,
in performing remarkable mysticism, so that he engendered the prodigious
amazement of one of the sons of Neptune, who, subsequent to every con-
guration, would vociferate :
" ' Trismegistus ! but that trenches on the admirable. My curiosity be-
comes procreated to become cognizant of what he will effectuate in the
"Subsequently the taciturn mariner solicited permission to produce the
ebolitiou of a jag of tobacco in his chiboque, as it was his assiietude to do,
which, owing to the fair daughters of Eve being reduced to nihility, was
accordingly conceded. Thus proceeded the concatenation of events in the
accrescent mystical seance, one of the sous of Neptune performing an eb'i..-
98 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
tion on his nargile, or dudeen, while the other vociferated in the sequel of
each prostidigitation :
•' • Trismegistus ! but that trenches on the admirable. My curiosity be-
comes procreated to become cognizant of what he will effectuate in the
"By way of a denouement, or finale, the pauciloquent sailor became
surfeited with the ebolition of tobacco, and insidiously collided the glowing
embers from his calumet, through an aperture in the floor, unaware of the
existence beneath of four hundred tons of a highly explosive material. In
an infinitesimal duration, they were evaporated across the Stygian tor-
rent into the Elysian arena, with the subduction of the scansorial bird, who
was ejaculated a league into space, over the Mississippi cataclysm, minus
his pennate attachments, also an orb of siglitand one pedal extremity, while
his plumage was consideiabiy incinerated. As he descended upon a timber
projecting from this terrestrial sphere, on his only remaining pedal extrem-
ity, he pragmatically vocifearted, with a Machlavelian sneer:
" • Trismegistus ! but that trenches on the admirable. My curiosity be-
comes procreated to become cognizant of what he will effectuate in the
W hen Verbura ceased speaking, Jake Metzler (whom the reader will remem-
ber as the hero of the long retreat from Bull Run) arose and remarked:
•'Mr. Biesident: If I don't vas mistaken, it seems to me dot I've heard
dot sthory before."
This remark was the signal for a roar of laughter, while Jake looked
around in wonder at their merriment.
Verbum resumed the chair, and said : " We will now hear the report of
the Chairman of the Committee on Revenge."
Joe Hart, the Chairman of the Committee, arose and began : " Mr. Presi-
dent: Old Jack Hall made various defamatory and threatening remarks
concerning the Vandals, so the otlier night we greased and soaped his back
porch. And the next morning, when the old codger went out to get a pail
of water, his heels flew out from under him and he made an attempt to
Stand on his head. We also circulated a report that he whipped his wife,
and it is all over the town.
•'Oid Morgan said we were a pack of roughs and scoundrels. And the
other night we tied his clothes line across his back porch. Then we hid, and
squeaked like a chicken. The old skinflint ran out to see who was stealing
his hens, and tried to saw his head off on the clothes line."
'« Did he succeed?" asked a Vandal.
«• I think the old buccaneer did pretty well, for he's had his neck wrapped
In flannel ever since.
•' Mrs. Daggletail Brown says she is going to have us all arrested for
"I move," said a Vandal, "that the matter be referred to the Judiciary
Committee, with power to act.'*
It was so ordered.
"And," said the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, "we'll give the old
p-^twolloper all the law she wants."
THEOVGH WAB. TO FEACE. 99
"Old Molloy has lately made inany threats and applied numerous epithets
to us. We haven't had time to operate on the old bushwiiacker yet, but
expt ct soon to do so. Old Haskell said we were a neocrac3% or woids to
that 'effect. Wo expect to operate on the old corsair before long."
As Hart sat down, President Verbum said : "I have been consulting with
a number of the members of this body, and I would throw out as a super-
erogatory, raetaphj'sieal suggestion, that with this meeting the duties of
the Committee on Revenge be discontinued — in other words, that its labors
cease. There is an old Latin proverb which says, ][rtserrima fortuna est
quce inimico caret— That is a most miserable fortune, which is without an
enemy. And undoubtedly there is a great deal of truth in the aphoiism.
For a person without an enemy would be a kind of nonentity — anyhow he
would not be apt to have a great deal of conviviality. And the person who
revenges every injury that is done him has nj time for anything else. If
we wish to make our lives a success, we can afford to let the dogs bark as
we go by. In every community there is always a class of popiujaj's and
old idiots who are envious of anyone whom they think is superior to them
in education and intelligence, and they think it necessary to wag their slan-
derous tongues. The Chinese have a maxim that somewhat illustrates this
point; it is: Towers are measured by tiieir shallows, great men by those
who are envious of them."
"That's lis," said a Vandal in the rear.
" Not exactly, " replied Verbum. "'Fools rush in where angels fear to
tread.' But still this exemplilies the trite fact that idiots are always envious
of those whom thej' believe to be their superiors. But the best way is to
treat this class — be they tatterdemalions, waileteers or plutocrats — with
silent contempt. Though, at the same time, it is well, to use the words of
the philosopher Pittacus, ' To watch your opportunity.' "
As Verbum finished his discourse, Ed Thorna arose, and with a withering
glance of contempt at the large dictionaries and the twelve volumes of the
encyclopedia, said : "I arisse for information." And with another glance of
contempt at the volumes, he continued : " 'Plutocrat' is neither in the dic-
tionary or the encyclopedia. And, I suppose, 'walleteer' is not, also, but I
have not searched for it. Will you be kind enough to inform me of the
meaning of these words?"
"A walleteer," said Verbum, "is a second cousin to a garreteer, and first
cousin to a nomad, and synonymous to a tramp. It is in the dictionary,
but the other word, 'Plutociat,' has not yet been devoured and digested by
the omniverous lexicographers. A plutocrat is a person suddenly arisen
from low life to wealth; a parvenu."
The motion of IStoakes, to discontinue the Committee on Kevenge, was
then put and carried, and Verbum then called for the report of the Chairman
of the Committee on Temperance.
For the Vandal Congress had become a temperance organization. Who
had been the prime mover in elTecting it was an enigma none couid solve.
Bur, one night, at a special meeting, they resolved themselves into a temper-
ance body, and they did it with a great deal of style and eclat. They made
speeches on temperance, and repeated and reaa all the Bacchanalian poetry
100 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
they knew or had ever heard. Then they brought out the, famous " little
brown jug," full of whiskey, and put into it aquae ammouia, aloes, asafoet-
ida and various other nauseous mixtures, then, filling their glasses from its
contents, they invited each other to drink. None of them, however, tiisted
the mixture except Jake Metzler, of Bull Run fame. He took a "horn,"
and instantly his heels flew up in the air and his head struck the floor.
"Donder and blitzen !" he reraafkod afterward, "it liked to kilt me 1"
After their carnival of fun they proceeded to business — and they did not
do things by halves. They passed a set of laws making the penalty for the
first offense (drinking liquorj suspension from the club for six months, and
for a second, and each succeeding offense, suspension for a year. But they
allowed the accused a trial before a jury of his peers, and also counsel, but
at the same time they took the precaution to elect a prosecuting attorney,
whose duty it was to proceed against the accused. Ed Thorne, who was a
law student, had been chosen tor this offlce.
The Chairman of the Temperance Committee arose and said: "We have
but one offender to report— Jake Metzler. He was discovered in flagrante
delicto — in the very act of drinking a glass of lager beer."
"Has any information been filed against him?" asktd Verbum.
" Yes, Mr. President," replied Thorne.
" Has the accused counsel?"
"Yes," replied Pete Hale, a law student, "I ana acting for the defense.
And I will state that the accused pleads not guilty, and that the ground of
defense is impulsive or emotional insanity." Then, turning to Bill Stoakes,
a medical student, he said in a whisper: " Bill, you had better read up on
'Insanity in its Relation to Crime,' as I shall call you as an expert."
"Then," said Yerbum, "the trial is set for the next regular meeting of
the Congress, at which time you are expected to have your witnesses and
"Owing to the lateness of the evening," continued the President, "and
the somnolence of some of the members, we will postpone the report of the
Committee on Incidents of the War, and hear the report of the librarian,
after which we will prorogue this session of the Congress."
Ed Thorne, the librarian, arose and said : "Since the last session we have
purchased the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Imperial Dictionary, and Frois-
sart's Chronicles, and have received by donation eight volumes."
As Thorne resumed his seat, Verbum said: "The motion to adjourn is
now in order."
And in a few minutes more the lights were extinguished, and the Vandals
were filing into the dark street. And now, gentle reader, wishing them
godspeed and prosperity, we bid farewell to the budding potentates of the
homjb: again m st, ABiiXiiB.
gy'VE wandered ou through many a clime where flowers
C^ of beauty grew,
Where all was blissful to the heart and lovely
to the view—
I've seen tlieni lu their twilight pride, and in tbelr
dress of morn.
But none appeared so dear to me as the spot where
I was born. —Anonymoiu.
ENEEAL Charles Landon, after his return from the geological
. expedition in South America, about four months before, had
been residing in tha city near St. Arlyle, but the fame he had
won as a scientist had preceded him, until his renown as a
scientist rivaled and even exceeded his brilliant career as a sol-
dier. Fortune, too, that fickle goddess, had smiled generously
upon him. But despite his fame and fortune, there came an almost irre-
sistible longing to go back to the quiet little village of St. Arlyle, the home
of his boyhood and early manhood, around which clung the sweetest and
dearest memories of all the halcyon days of his youth, when "life seemed
bathed in Hope's romantic hues." Those happy, careless days, colored ia
sweetest memories by the golden light of love !
Some one has said that little villages are the nearest to earthly atoms of
shattered paradise, and I think that no truer words were ever written. There
IS a charm about a little village that a city can never possess. For in »
102 THROUGH WAR TO FTJACH.
great metropolis one's indiviflnality is so completely burled in the large mass
of people that if he falls from the ranks he is as little missed — except by
his nearest circle of friends — as would be a wave on a mighty ocean's breast ;
but in a village there is a personality — the whole village know each other;
they may gossip about one, and, to use a hyperbole, know one's own busi-
ness better than he does himself. But, after all, it shows an interest in one,
and often not an unkindly feeling, though sometimes roughly expressec4, but
Btill uever with that careless viciousness we too often see in a city. As we
have said, the village people know nearly all^bout each other's affairs, and
lake more than a passing interest in them. The last marriage has been
weighed and discussed by them, even when the young people first became
engaged, and then they always throw a tinge of romance aroimd the young
couple's matrimonial bliss, with sincere wishes for their future welfare!
Births, too, receive their share of attention, for when Ned and Nelly become
the parents of a baby the event is thoroughly discussed. And lastly, when
death reaps one of the town's citizens, there are always true regrets at his
loss ; for, unlike the busier world, they have time to feel and soothe an-
Nearly all men keep some little village in reserve, for a home in case of
mischancefcr misfortune, or when they become tired of the worry of society.
And what a sweet rest it often proves to bankrupts in trade, mortified
pleaders in courts and senates, victims of idleness and pleasure, or men
who have brilliantly succeeded in the great world, but found at last that
the world's greatest honors were simply dross, and what their hearts needed
most was peace and love!
And so they are all given — regardless of their former glories, mischances
or defeats — a place in the little conmion wealth, and they soon learn to like
the little world far better than they ever did the great one. For we nearly
always find that little things are the sweetest. Little cottages are generally
the most cozy, little farms the best tilled, little books the most read, little
songsthemostsung, little words the sweetest, littlelakes the stillest, and little
hearts the fullest. Everyone calls that little which he loves best and dearest
on earth. And Nature, too, when she makes anything supremely beau-
tiful and rare, makes it little — little diamonds, little pearls and little rubies.
And so I shall always think that little villages are the nearest earthly
atoms of shattered xiaradise!
As we have remarked, there came a longing, an irresistible desire in Lan-
don's he irt to roam again among the hills and vales of St. Arlyle. The
spot around which his heart's sweetest and tenderest memories of bygone
years still clung; and though he felt Bi-rtha's love was lost to him forever,
still there came a longing in his heart to revisit the old scenes, where they
had spent §uch blissful days together, and to live them over in imagination,
if not in reality. Bays, a? he looked back to them, that seemed embalmed
with a touch of paradise. And no words can express how deeply and sin-
cerely he regretted his rash act of doubting Bertha's constancy, and flinging
away her love. "It was," he thought over and over again, "a mad, foolish
course to pursue, but I have suffered dearly for it. But I deserve it all, and
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. lOS
So one fine summer day Charles Landon left his ofiBce and turned down a
street of the city leading toward the railway station, from whence the cars
ran to St. Arlyle. When he reached the station, he glanced at his watch
and found that he had nearly an hour to wait before the departure of the
train. Nearly opposite the station stood the Academy of Art, and as he
gazed toward it, he noticed au announcement in front of the builc'ing that
there was then being held a grand exhibition of paintings by local and for-
eign artists. He was very fond of art, and quite a connoisseur of paintings,
so he crossed the street and entered the Academy. There was a large
crowd of spectators present, and he found the exhibition of paintings a very
valuable and extensive one, so he strolled along for some time, examining
them, when his attention was attracted by an unusual crowd around a paint-
ing at the farther end of the hall, which, from the attention it attracted,
seemed to be the gem of the collection. As he approached it, almost at the
first glance there was something that struck him as unusually familiar about
the scene it represented. In a few moments he recognized the painting as
a representation of the room in which he had lain wounded so many weeks
after the battle of Gettysburg. That room, he felt, he could never forget,
for every lineament of it was indelibly impressed on his mind, during those
long days of suffering and weeks of convalescence.
The painting was simply entitled, "For His Country," and represented a
medium-sized apartment, with a bed in one corner, upon which a wounded
soldier was lying, while in the distance, through the open window, could be
seen a battle raging, armid tire and smoke. The wouuded man was attired
in the full uniform of an officer, and the blood from his wounds was yet
fresh, bespattering the breast of his dark blue ccat, and partly crimsoning
the golden star in the insignia of his rank, on one of his shoulders. His
head was resting on one arm, and the face was partly turned toward the
■wall, but there were enough of its lineaments portrayed for Charles Landon
to recognize it as a copy of his own face. The picture had eyidently been
painted by a master hand, and it was fascinatingly realistic to Landon, as he
observed that not a particular of the scene had been omitted. The oldr
fashioned chairs, the stand, and the pictures on the walls, were allportpeiyed
there, while even the red climbing roses, nodding in at the window, had not
been forgotten. How well he remembered them, when, after nights of pain
and delirium, he awoke and saw them on their long, pendant stems waft
through the open window in the warm July air, till in his feverish imagina-
tion they seemed like human heads noddinghima good morningand endeav-
oring to encourage him in his struggle with death. And the mythological
picture on the wall— Hercules's contest with the Nemean lion — had been re-
produced with all the fidelity of the original. What memories, too, that
picture awakened of tliose bygone days — when the spark of life' flickered
but feebly in his body, and his feveiish brain in its semi-consciousness often
took the shadow for the substance — and he gazed upon it like one under a
spell, till in his feverish fancy the actors became endowed with life, and
the struggle between the hero and the beast became an actual one. Then
how he sympathized with the hero, and longed for his victory.
Charles Landon had become so absorbed in the contemplation of the
10 A THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
painting, that he had grown oblivious to all around him, when he was
aroused from his reverie by becoming aware that others beside himself had
noticed his resemblance to the portrait. Not wishing to attract attention,
he modestly turned away, but not before he had learned that the artist's
name was Bertha Mertun!
"Ah," he thought, as he saw her name in one corner of the painting,
"that accounts for its fidelity to the original ! Perhaps," bethought, "there
may be a lingering spark of the old love in her heait. But it is hardly pos-
sible, after the brutal way I acted toward het. But still, 'there are more
things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophj'.' "
Just then the last warning peals of the locomotive's bell sounded, and he
hurried from the building and entered a car.
As the train approached St. Arlyie there arose before him, as if by magic,
the old scenes of his boyhood he knew so well, lying clear and calm in the
light of that beautiful summer afternoon. And what an association of de-
lightful memories each hill, brook and meadow brought back to him. There
at the base of the mountain, was the little lake, where he used to love to
6wim, while above it rose the tall mountain that he had often climbed, and
while standing beneath its shady oaks, had "viewed the landscape o'er."
There, too, were the blue waters of the bay, with their white-caps splashing
on the sandy beach, as in the years of yore.
At last the church spires and the taller buildings of the village came full
in view, lying calm and peaceful in the summer sunshine. And in his heart
what a wealth of memories clung around them. There was the old haunted
.house on the hill, around which many a bright fancy clung, and there were
the college buildings, in which he had passed many a happy day, and there,
too, was the cottage on the rising ground above the river, a spot doubly
dear and sweet to him, for it was Bertha's old home. At last the train ran
over the bridge across the river, whose waters rippled cool and clear be-
neath the shadows that fringed its banks. And as the old beloved scenes
broke before him, his spirits arose as if by euchantmeut, and he repeated
almost passionately the lines of the poet:
' "1 am come again with summer,
Ii IS lovely to behold,
WIK It weloome the newcomer,
Aa It ust-d to do ot old?
Within those dark green covers,
' Whose shade is downward cast.
How many a memory hovers
Whose light is from the past!"
^/hen the train reached the station and Landon was yet stepping from
the car, he was met by Colonel Tom Gleaton.
"Ah, General," said Gleaton, " Welcome back to St. Arlyie! You seethe
town has improved since last you saw it. It has become quite a fashionable
watering-place. We publish the village paper twice a week now, and I'm
"That's the very profession that will suit your genius. In fact the one
you've been looking for for years.'"
" No," replied Gleaton, in his facetious way, "it is journalism that has
TliROVGH WAR TO PEACE. 105
been searchiug for me. And I've no doubt it would have languished, had
it not discovered your humble servant."
At that moment Laudon was surrounded by a host of old friends, who
profusely expiessed their delight in welcoming him back again.
He left the station and strolled through the village, everywhere meeting
with friends, who greeted him with joj'ous delight, fcr he had ever been a
favorite with young and old in St. Arlyle. He visited the college an 1 strolled
past the hauijted house — no longer haunted now, but converted into a vil-
lage museum and library. He stopped in front of Bertha's old home and
gazed into the garden, as there arose in his lieart sweet memories of those
happy bygone days. Then he wandered through the tangled wood to the
river, and along its bank, watching its clear, rippling waters till his heart
grew buoyant and joyous, and he lived over in imagination — if not in reality
— those old, enchanted days again ! At last he reached the bridge, where
he and Bertha first had met; and though its association aroused a host of
pleasant memories, still there came justa tinge of sadness on his handsome
face, as he felt she was lost to him forever, though her image would ever
remain stamped on his heart. But then he thought:
" 'Tis better to have loved and lost,
Than never to have loved at all."
Man bewails, but God directs in his mysterious way. For though he dared
not even dream it, he should live the old* life over again, in all its fullness
'and all its sweetness too !
Toward the close of the afternoon, he strolled back to the bay, and, wan-
dering along the sandy beach until he came to a ledge of granite — towering
fully forty feet above the beach — he climbed to the summit of the huge
rocks and stood carelessly gazing at the blue expanse of water, and over
the green fields and pebbly beach. And it was a picture sufiBciently beauti-
ful to please even a taste more fastidious than his. In the distance, there
gleamed the bright, thread-like waters of the river, lined on each bank by
verdant willows and green, sloping meadows ; while amid the evergreen
foliage and climbing roses, tiestledthe white cottages, showing in all the
glory of the summer afternoon's light; beyond lay the long stretch of moun-
tains, covered with trees and vines, and divided by many shady ravines and
nooks. At his feet ran the curving beach, covered with boulders and peb-
bles, that had been washed shoreward by many a winter's storm. In front
lay the blue waters of the bay, reflecting the color of the azure sky above,
stretching miles away, and sleeping its peaceful summer sleep, with only
the low rumble of the surf to teli of the pent up fury and mighty power
that lay dormant in its peaceful bosom. On the little wharf, in front of the
hotel, nearly three-quarters of a mile away, were several parties of ladies
and gentlemen, the gay garments of the former adding a charm to the pic-
ture, while the whole was far enough removed from the spectator to produce
a pleasing and dreamy effect, viewed in the fading light of that summer
afternoon. As he yet stood watching the pier, a little steamer left it, with
a pleasure party on board, and bore directly toward the immense granite
boulders. As the boat approached, there was the figure of a lady, with
106 THROUGH WAR TO FEACE.
brown, curly hair, leaning on the railing of the quarter-deck, that particu-
larly attracted his attention. Although her back was toward him there was
something unusually familiar about her hand>^ome figure.
As the little steamer was passing within thirty yards of the cliff, on which
he stood, the lady suddenly turned by some unaccountable impulse and
gazed in his direction. In an instant he recognized her — it was Bertha!
As she saw him, she seemed surprised, and laid her hand upon her bosom
as if to still her fluttering heart, while the face she had schooled and con-
trolled so often, for once played her false ; for over her sweet face came a
crimson blush. What a <lepth of mystery there is in a blush, that a word,
a look, or a thought, will awaken, sending the carnation over brow and cheek,
like the soft tint of a sky at sunset. Wonderful too that it is only the face,
the human face, that can blush. It has been said that the blush of modesty
tinted the first fair woman's cheek, when she first awoke in the sunny gar-
denof .tden, and that it has lingered with Eve"s fair daughters ever since.
It has also been truly remarked that the face is the tablet of the soul,
whereon it records its actions and its feelings. And so thought Charles
Landon, as he saw her beautiful face flush, and it emboldened him, and he
resolved that before another day's sunset he would win her heart, or know
his fate !
In a few moments Bertha recovered her self-possession and saluted him
with a graceful bow and smile. Instantly Charles Landon raised his hat
in courteous recognition of her gi'CBting, while a tender light broke over his
face, and a smile played about his lips, which was plainly visible, for the
Bteamer in passing was not more than thirty yards distant. And standing
there, high among the rocks, with the waning light of that summer after-
noon falling full upon his handsome face and figure, he formed a pictui-e
that an artist would have loved to paint ! And no wonder, then, that a
thrill of admiration crossed Bertha s face, as she noted his fine, soldierly
bearing and the erect poise of his head, crowned with its dark brown, curly
hair, while his handsome face was lit with a rare, sweet tenderness she
remembered so well. But there came a remembrance of another time,
■when she had seen that face glitter with daring amid fire and smoke on the
battle field of Gettysburg; but she could not help thinking that she liked
it better illuminated by the light of peace than she did by the glitter of war.
As the little steamer glided awaj', the last beams of the sun were throwing
a subdued glory over the daik blue water and distant hills, while amid the
dying light he watched Bertha's beautiful giilish figure, on the hurricane
deck, fade from view in the gathering gloom. The sun had already sunk
like a gn-at ball of lefulgent fire, leaving clouds of the brightest crimson,
shading into the daintiest of roses amid borders of purple and gold, with all
the changing splendor of Alciuous's golden-portaled cities in his empire of
the clouds !
Niglit had closed around, and the little figure on the hurricane deck had
faded from his view as Laudon turned to leave the lock, as he tliought
Badly: "I've little hope of winning back the old place in her heart — but still:
«* 'He either fejirs his fate too much,
Or his deserts ate small.
Who fears to put it to the touch
To win or lose it all !' "
UNDEB THE LIGHT OF PEACE.
He might have took his answer loug SLSo.—Shdkef^eare.
A1VH, the heart that has truly loved, never forgets,
^^ But as truly loves on to the close,
I As the sun-flower turns on her god, when he sets.
The same look which she turned when he rose.
HE next day was clear and bright, and the beautiful country
around laj- in the summer sunshine, as a vivid picture be-
fore him, with its darli green woods, sloping to the winding
river, while the rocky hills above, at whose bases lay the green
meadows, gradually slanting till they dipped into the bright
blue waters of the bay, forming a fitting frame for the rose-
embowered cottages of the village. And in his heart, what a world of
memories clung around those familiar scenes, of the happy days gone before.
So deeply had he become interested in the old scenes, lit by their sweet
memories, that it was not till in the afternoon that he returned to the sea-
side hotel. After lunch he lit a cigar, and strolling into the park attached
to the hotel, turned into a path that led through a tangle of wilil roses and
thick pines, toward the river. When he reached the end of the path he
came to a small terrace on the bank of the river, and there, to his surprise,
on a rustic bench, beneath the shadow of an oak, Berlha was sitting. He
stopped suddenly, and with a wildly beating heart, leaning against a tree
behind a cluster of bushes that hid him from view, while he feasted hisejes
on the lovely picture she formed, as she sat thoughtfully gazing into the
He had always considered her pretty in the happy bygone days in St.
Arlyle, but the succeeding years since then, had lavishiugly ripened and
lOS, THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
perfected the girlish beauty of face and form, till now she was more than
pretty — she was magnificenllj' beautiful in all the full splendor of a woman's
perfection and glory ! From the small arched foot, peeping beneath her
robe, to the crowning mass of curlj' hair that clustered around her brow —
which had growu several shades darker than in former years, but which, in
its contrast with her pure white face, only added to her beauty — she ap-
peared a model that would have pleased the most fastidious artist's taste.
Her face was as clear and white as marble and almost of as fine a texture ;
her lips were finely moulded, and, when they parted, showed perfect curves,
of carmine's brightest hue; her chm was dainty and dimpled; the cheeks
were finely moulded, with a shadowy dimple in each; while the straight,
Grecian nose, with its delicate red nostrils, would have served for a sculptor's
model. The large liquid eyes, of midnight's dreamy hue, magnificently
crowned the beauty of her face, while the long, droopmg lashes that
fringed the white lids, only gave a deeper, darker, and more unfathomable
splendor, to the velvety orbs ! But yet there was a magic spell about her
face that even overshadowed its loveliness — that was its rare sweetness !
But as he turned and moved toward her he noticed a sad expression on
her sweet young face, that grieved him deeply. She did not notice him till
he stood quite close to her; then, as she turned her head, the sad, far-away
look in her soft dark eyes gave place to one of surprise.
"Ah, my lady," he said, pleasantly, "building castles in the air? Or as
the French say, constructing chateaux des Espagne?"
"Oh, no," she replied, smiling, "1 have been painting all morning, and
came out in the open air to enjoy my Dolce far iiiente. But,"' she added,
naively, " I'm afraid I fell into thinking, or, perhaps, dreaming of the past!"
" Why afraid?'' he asked.
" Because, though pleasant moments, still they haunt, but to remind
that they did not last!"
As he reached her side, she arose and held out her hand, as her heart gave
a wild throb of excitement, and her face grew even paler. As he grasped
her extended hand he could not help noticing how lovely her face looked
in its marble-like paleness, framed b^- the soft brown curls. The old saucy
arclmess was gone, but there was a sad sweetness in the large liquid eyes,
and about the small mouth and dimpled cheek, tliat made him long to take
her in his arms and caress her. He sat down beside her, and thiew his hat
on the bench beside her with a boyish carelessness, as she noticed that his
dark hair curled in ringlets upon his white brow, just as she had loved to
watch it in those bygone years. There war. a tinge of sadness on his hand-
some face, despite his swet-t boyish flow of spirits, showing that he, too, had
suffered. And when he spoke, it was in an awkward, constrained manner,
contrasting strangely with his usual open, frank way, and his customary
brilliant and natural flow of language.
After a moment's silence, he plunged into his subj^ect, like one would
plunge into a stream, where he was not sure of his footing, or as one would
do who had a matter in hand that he was eager to get through with, and
seemed at a loss how to begin.
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 109
•'Miss Merton," he cominenced, "I wish to ask a favor of yoo. Will
you grant it?"
"Certainly," she replied, noticing his embarrassment, and eager to help
him, "if it lies in my power?"
" I love a certain young lady, and will you help me win her. I think you
can aid me materially."
"Yes, if my humble efforts can assist you," she replied, dazed and bewil-
dered, while a fearful pain seized her heart that made her struggle for
breath. "Does he know?" she thought, "what he is asking? Can he
imagine the pain he is inflicting? Has he no mercy. Oh, how desperately I
love him. May Heaven help me to bear it!"
Then, after a desperate effort to control her feelings, she asked in a voice
almost choked with tears :
"Do I know this young lady? What is her name?"
"It is Bertha Merton!''
Over her face there broke a light, such as a Raphael or a Murillo often
dreamed of giving an angel, but never fully succeeded in leaving on canvas.
A tranquil, joyous light that rendered her face grandly beautiful. He saw
the sweet light of joy on her countenance, and his tengue became suddenly
free and words rushed rapidly to his thoughts, as he exclaimed :
" Bertha, darling, will you forgive me? I know 1 don't deserve it! But
still I love you dearly ! You, and you only, have held the tenderest spot in
my heart's affection, and it has never flagged, even for a moment, all the while
we were at cross-purposes. I tried to forget you, but the more I tried, the
more my heart clung to you ! ' For the heart that has truly loved never for-
gets but as truly loves on to the close.' Will you forgive me, Bertie? And I
promise you I'll never grow jealous again. Not even doubt you for a mo-
" Forgive you," she said, with a smile, as there came over her a feeling
that set her nerves quivering with a strange sweet rapture. "There is
nothing to forgive! And if there were I should say in the words of good
Dr. Granville, 'The noblest lesson I've learned in life is to forgive, and, as
far as the heart can, to forget.' But it would be an easy task for me to
forgive you, if there wore anything to forgive, for my heart has clung
to you tenderly through all these years in spite of myself. And you know,"
she added, laughingly, "Leonidas, the bravest of the Greeks, was compelled
to yield when the enemy gained his rear; and so with my own heart against
me, and your own noble appeal what else can a poor girl do, but surrender?
But," she added, with the old sauciness, "are you sure you love me truly?"
For her answer he took her in his arms and gently kissed her rosy lips
for the first time in many a long day, as the little head nestled against his
shoulder, while the hot blood suffused her cheeks and bosom, till they riv-
aled the red rose on her breast.
"So," he said, we have been playing at cross purposes all these yea.rs
But as the old proverb says, 'As gold must be tried by fire, so hearts must
be tried by pain,' perhaps it was Heaven's way of teaching un the lesson
we ought to have learned before — the lesson of faith and trust. And let us
110 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
hope that our hearts, in the crucible of pain, have been more refined and
purified. But," he added teasiugly, "I was not entirely without hope ever
since that day you slyly kissed me, when I lay wounded on the battle field
at Gettysburg, and you thought me dying."
"So you think I liissed you, when you lay so fearfully wounded!" she
exclaimed, with all the old, sweet archness. " Why, what an absurd fancy!
Why, the very idea is preposterous! What a conceited fellow you are!
But- then," she ndded, noticing the quizzical expression on his countenance,
"you were so badly wounded that your mind wandered, and you imagined
many ridiculous things. But as to kissing you, it is the most delightfully
unreasonable fancy in the world ! I can't even imagine how you obtained
such a wild, absurd, droll and ridiculous idea! Why, your mind must have
been wandering in the most visionary of dream lands !"
"I see," he said, laughingly, "you are determined to J.eny that kiss. But
the thought of it has been sweet to me ever since ; though perhaps my mind
"Of course it did ! You know it did! What a foolish, inconsistent idea
it was !"
As she finished speaking, she took up her hat, with its long white feather,
and placed it jauntily on her little curly head.
"Ah," he said, banteringly, "1 see you've changed the scarlet plume for
a white one."
"Yes," she replied, with the old sweet archness he remembered so well,
"I've had a' tuste of war and learned the full value of tranquility, so
"I've changed the crimson plume of battle for the virgin white of peace!"
"True," lie replied, smiling, "as the old Roman proverb says, Dulce
beUiim ine.vperto — war is sweet to him who has not tried it. And I have
found it so, for my experience in four years of strife has only taught me
to hate war the mote, and love peace the better."
"By the way, Bertie," he continued, after a moment's silence, "what be-
came of the blue mob uap, with gold band, you wore so long on the tented
"Oh, my foraging cap, as you used to call it. I lost it, I think, at Gettys-
" Yes, I think you did," he said, roguishly, as he drew the cap from his
"Why," she exclaimed, "that's the identical foraging cap! The olHcers
of your regiment presented it to me and I wore it in their honor. I know
it was rather gaudy. But then," she added, with a sly glance at General
Landon, "where men wore blue uniforms with crimson sashes, not to take
into consideration gilt buttons and gay epaulettes — why a girl was justified
in being a little bit flashy, too !"
"Why certainly she nad, providing " and he stopped.
"Providing what?" she asked, demurely.
"Providing she didn't kiss wounded soldiers."
"1 tell you," she said, saucily, with a stamp of her little foot, "your
mind was wandering when you imagined such an absurd thing! Why, the
very idea is jte.rfecihj preposterous!"
They arose from the rustic bench, and arm in arm, strolled up the path
THROUGH WAR TO FEACE. Ill
along the river, beneath the shade of the trees and trailing vines. As they
came in view of the bridge, across the river, Bertha said :
"They have built a new bridge, but otherwise the i)lace is little changed.
The old oak is still standing, throwing its shade, as in years gone by."
" Yes," he said, teasingly, "they have built a new one, to prevent young
ladies on horseback from falling into the river."
" It may be," she said demurely, "but I don't think they need have trou-
bled themselves about that. For most young ladies are capable of taking
care of themselves — at least," she added, slyly, "I know of one."
When they reached the bridge, they walked partly across it till they reached
ttie shade of the old oak, and then, leaning upon the railing, stood side by
side, gazing into the stream for several moments in silence, watoliing the
shming trout dart about in the clear waters of the river, when suddenlv
Bertha looked up and repeated archly the poet's familiar lines:
♦• I see the bright trout springing.
Where the wave is dark yet clear.
And a myriad flies are winging,
As if to tempt him near."
"Finish the stanza, my little lady," he said, sportively,
"I don't remember the rest," she answered, smiling.
"Then I'll repeat it for you," he said, good-humoredlyt
"With the lucid waters blending,
The willow shade yet floats,
From beneath whose quiet bendings
1 used to launch my boats."
They crossed the bridge and almost instinctively turned their steps toward
Bertha s old homo. As they walked up the hill together, on that beautiful
eummer afternoon, with their hearts beating wildly happy, there arose a
flood of memories almost too deep for words. Memories sweet of those
happy bj-gone days that they had passed together in the little village ; days
that ever seemed bathed in radiant sunshine, that each familiar spot and
hill in St. Arlyle brought vividly back to their mental view ; blissful years,
when she took her flrst lessons in science and he learned his first In love !
Peaceful years, but to be succeeded by those sad, thrilling years of war, out
of which arose, as if by magic, the well remembered faces and forms of
those who were sleeping under the sod on the battle fields of the sunny
South. Sad ana thrilling scenes, that touched their very hearts' core, till
the walls of their memories seemed so written over — so crossed and re-
crossed by the events of the years that had fled, that there seemed no room
for the thoughts of the present.
When they reached the brow of the hill, they met Colonel Tom Gleaton,
and as he extended a hand to each, he said, in his old, impulsive way :
"Ah, the Heracleids have returned at last !"
"Yes," replied Bertha, smiling, "but it has not taken us quite three gen-
erations to do it, as it did the Greeks of old."
" True," said Gleaton, "the fates were propitious this time. And," he
added, with a sly glance at each, "I think no plague will follow."
112 THROUGH WAR TO PEACE.
"Why," said Landon, "have you consulted the Oracle of Delphi?"
" No," he siiid quickly, aud with an artfulness that caused the warm blood
to suffuse both their faces, " I've consulted the Oracle of Cupid !"
" By the way," said Bertha, addressing Colonel Gleaton, and demurely
and dexterously changing the subject, "I understand you have entered the
field of journalism? How do you like it?"
" Very well indeed 1 It gives me a chance to perpetrate a would-be joke
" Tliey are more than would-be jokes," said Landon. " You have writtea
eome good things."
♦'I hope so," he replied:
" 'For a little fun now and then,
Is relished by the best of men.' "
As Gleaton finished speaking, he turned around, and asthey strolled along
their conversation naluially turned to the missing links in the village's little
common wealth — those who had fallen in the Civil War — as Colonel Gleaton
"You remember poor Tom Kelly's death and burial, near the banks of
the Poloraac Eiver? Well, not long since, we had his last resting place
marked by a stone with the proper inscriptions cut on it. As you, undoubt-
edly recall, he was the first of our St. Arlyle men to fall in battle."
"Yes," said General Landon, "he was a wild, erratic fellow, but he fully
deserves all the tributes we can give him, for he had a warm Irish, heart,
and he leli bravely in the defense of his country, at duty's post."
"True," said Bertha, "he had his faults; but who has not? But, poor
fellow, he was always a firm and true friend to me! And," she added
warmly, "I shall ever hold a tender place in my heart for his memory !"
"Yes," said General Landon, "as we look back to the old days of the
war, and i-ecall its martyrs, Jeremiah Marshall, noble Dr. Granville, aud
sweet May Wilberton; his is ever among the familiar faces that arise like
an apparition through the haze of history that is beginning to gather around
the men and events of that troublous time !"
" True," said Bertha, "at the mention of their names, their well known
faces seemed to beam upon us as they used to do in life. But let us think,"
she added, tenderly, "that they are all at rest in God's kingdom beyond the
skies ; that erratic Tom Kelly has been called from the post of dutj' to ranks
of peace in heaven ; that Jeremiah Marshall has found — after his sad and
troublous life — the everlasting rest he longed so often to find; and that
noble, generous Dr. Granville has found the reward he so truly deserved;
and that sweet, gentle May, too, is waiting among the blest!"
" But there is one name," said General Landon, "of those old days, that
of James Shackle, I'm afraid I never can recall without an anathema. For
Btrtha," he continued, "he came too near ruining your life and mine, for me
ever to easily forgive him !"
In Bertha's large liquid eyes there came a sweet forgiving tenderness, as
she said : " Let us not condemn him too harshly, for perhaps the great trou-
bles and trials he had passed through had overbalanced his mind, and he
THROUGH WAR TO PEACE. 113
was not really accountable for his later actions. Anyhow, she added, "we
in our great happiness can easily afford to forgive him!''
"Ah Bertha," said Charles, smiling, "spoken like your own true, noble
self — ever forj<iving and forgetting!"
When they reached the garden gate of Bertha's old home, the star-
spangled banner was floating from the tall flag-pole in front of it; for it was
the Nation's birthday. And as they watched the gentle breeze waft out
in the balmy sunlight, the gay folds of the bonny red, white and blue. Ber-
tha said :
" The old flag floats as proudly as if it had never been riddled by shot and
shell in internal strife."
" Yes," said Gleaton, in his facetious way, " I never see the old flag, but
it reminds me of bullets and balls coming in my direction."
"Or," said Bertha, mischievously, "riding off the battlefleld on a cannon.'
"Perhaps," he said, smiling good-humoredly, though the joke was at his
expense, "but I hope," he added, "those days are over forever."
"God grant that they are," said Charles Landon, earnestly, "and that
unlike the nations that have gone before, suicide may 'never be the fate of
the American Eepublic !"
And kind reader, let us too hope, that if war comes in this passing gener-
ation, it will And the Blue and the Gray in the same line of battle, fighting
side by side, a common foe !
As Landon finished speaking, Gleaton turned down the hill, while Charles
and Bertha entered the gate haml in hand, and in the waning light of that
glorious summer afternoon, strolled along a familiar rose-bordered path,
and there, gentle reader — whilst his arm is encircling her dainty waist, and
her dark golden head is nestling on his shoulder — we leave them, under the
sway of the greatest magic wand of all— </(e tram^forrixing light of love!
So their hearts, like their country's flag, had passed through War to Peace!